It is 7:20 p.m. on Thursday, October 29th, and I am writing to give you an update from the City of Mobile. Today, the Mobile County Health Department reports 17,269 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 90 cases. To read a detailed report, go to-
Last night, when Hurricane Zeta hit the City of Mobile, we experienced high winds that downed trees and power lines causing about 45% of the city and more than 45 intersections to lose power. Though, relatively speaking, we fared better than our neighbors to the north and west.
Overnight, personnel from the Mobile Fire Rescue Department responded to 113 service calls including five high water rescues and four structural fires. This morning, an initial survey of the city showed at least 65 downed trees including nine with electrical hazards. City crews along with Alabama Power Company mobilized to start clearing debris left by the storm.
Currently, the Mobile Police Department has officers manning more than 30 intersections throughout the city that were left without power due to the storm. It was because of the inherit danger of intersections without operable traffic signals that our Chief of Police and Public Safety Director recommended that I implement a curfew this evening.
Such a recommendation isn't taken lightly or without thoroughly discussing the possible disruptions to businesses and to previously planned events. If you have intersections that are completely dark with the power being out on all four corners, that is a dangerous situation. The purpose of the curfew is to reduce the number of people unnecessarily traveling through the city in order to protect their lives.
Tonight's curfew wasn't issued until 3 o'clock simply because we waited to see how many intersections would have power restored in hopes that a curfew would not be necessary. There was a guidance issued after the initial curfew announcement stating that it did not apply to those traveling home from previously scheduled events, or those traveling to and from their respective jobs.
We are hopeful that this curfew will only be in place for one night, but that will depend on the restoration of the power to our intersections.
Moving forward, we will be adjusting our strategy and operating procedures to ensure faster and more thorough debris removal. The goal is to get back to our normal trash pickup schedule as quickly as possible so that citizens will know when to expect their trash to be removed. Citizens are encouraged to get their Zeta debris to the curb in separate piles of vegetation and construction debris as quickly as possible in order for us to stay on our timeline to have the city cleared by Thanksgiving.
Those who wish to get rid of their yard debris sooner can drop off bagged vegetation at Langan Municipal Park and the James Seals Community Center.
It's days like this that make me so grateful for our first responders and public works employees. They, like you, want to see some normalcy in their schedules and to see the debris removed from your yards. When you see them in your neighborhood please give them a pat on the back.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson