Decatur, Hartselle, Athens, Lawrence, Limestone schools to close early; Morgan virtual-only

Eric Fleischauer, The Decatur Daily, Ala.
·2 min read

Mar. 25—Due to the risk of severe weather, Decatur, Hartselle and Athens city schools and Limestone and Lawrence county schools will dismiss classes early today and Morgan County Schools will have exclusively virtual instruction.

The National Weather Service in Huntsville this morning upgraded the severe weather potential today to "high risk" for most of Morgan, Lawrence and Limestone counties. Dangerous severe storms are expected to enter the area about 1 p.m. and pass through about 11 p.m.

"We are expecting destructive winds, strong tornadoes, large hail and flash flooding across our entire area," NWS said in a statement.

Decatur City Schools will release elementary students at 11:45 a.m. and secondary students at 12:30.

Dismissals at Hartselle City Schools will begin at 11:30 a.m. for elementary schools, 11:40 for Hartselle Intermediate, 11:45 for Hartselle Junior and 11:55 for Hartselle High.

Athens City Schools will release pre-kindergarten students at 11 a.m., K-3 at 11:15, the high school and intermediate school at 11:30 and the middle school at 11:40.

Lawrence County Schools will close at 11 a.m. today, an hour earlier than previously announced.

Limestone County Schools will release elementary students at 11 a.m. followed by high school students at 11:30.

All schools have canceled after-school activities.

Athens State University will close its campus at noon.

Storm shelters will be open in the event of a tornado watch.

If a tornado warning is issued, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency recommends people take the following steps:

—Go to a safe room, basement or storm cellar.

—If you are in a building with no basement, then get to a small interior room on the lowest level.

—Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls.

—Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You're safer in a low, flat location.

—Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death. Use your arms to protect your head and neck. You need helmets for everyone, including adults, as many injuries and deaths in severe weather occur as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.

—If you live in a mobile/manufactured home, do not stay in it when a warning is issued for your area, instead opting for a more secure shelter. To find out if community shelters exist for your area, contact your county Emergency Management Agency to determine where they are located and when they are open.

eric@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.