Gov. Robert Bentley is ramping up Alabama's disaster-preparedness process in advance of Isaac, currently a tropical storm but expected to become a hurricane.
Bentley declared a state of emergency for the entire state Sunday evening, and ordered mandatory evacuations for parts of Mobile and Baldwin counties. The evacuation order goes into effect at 8 a.m. Monday.
At 7 p.m. Sunday, the National Hurricane Center was forecasting Isaac -- currently located southwest of Key West, Fla., with sustained winds of 60 miles per hour -- to make landfall along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, near Pass Christian, around lunchtime Wednesday as a Category 2 hurricane. However, this path has been adjusted back and forth several times over the last 36 hours, and likely will be further revised.
A path that takes the eye of the storm into Mississippi, especially along the state border adjoining Alabama, would be problematic for metro Birmingham. The heaviest rains and winds from hurricanes are always on the eastern side of the eye, as the winds rotate counter-clockwise and come on shore.
The current forecast would bring the worst of the storm into the metro area Thursday.
As of now, neither Jefferson County officials nor those from north Jefferson cities have announced any plans in advance of the storm. Municipal elections on Tuesday are not expected to be affected at this time.