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Ivan may be terrible here, too

By Staff
Local drop off sites set for supply donations
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
As the southern portions of Alabama brace for Hurricane Ivan, North Alabama is preparing for heavy rains and strong winds.
Officials with the National Weather Service Center in Birmingham predict Ivan will approach Alabama's Gulf Coast early Thursday morning. At presstime, the hurricane was a category five storm, and could cause major damage along the Gulf Coast.
Gov. Bob Riley declared Alabama in a state of emergency Monday. Riley visited several EMA offices earlier this week, examining evacuation plans.
"I believe we are as prepared as we can be," Riley said.
While hurricanes traditionally lose strength as they progress over land, Ivan could bring up to 10 inches of rain in North Alabama. Strong, gusty winds could result in power outages and other damage.
Several donation drop off locations have been established in Morgan County. The following items are needed for donation: bottled water, canned food, manual can openers, size C and D batteries, and cleaning supplies. Drop-off locations in Decatur include all Decatur fire stations, Food World and Sav-a-lot. Drop-off locations in Hartselle include Hometown Market, Kroger and all Hartselle fire stations. Drop-off locations in Moulton include Food World and Kroger.
Members of civic organizations, clubs, groups, or Sunday school classes who would like to participate in the relief effort are encouraged to call Steve McCurry at 637-6053. A second shipment of supplies was sent Tuesday. The first shipment included 12 palettes of food and cleaning supplies and a truckload of hay and feed.
Officials with the American Red Cross are asking local residents to donate blood, as the onslaught of recent hurricanes have drained supplies below ideal levels.
Red Cross officials said it normally collects between 700-800 units of blood daily in the Alabama, Mississippi and Florida areas. A storm such as Ivan drains the existing supply as well as eliminating collection efforts in those states.
To donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Currently, the closest blood drive will take place in North Alabama is scheduled for Sept. 16 from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the Red Cross Center, located at 1101 Washington Street in Huntsville.
The Salvation Army is also making plans to assist victims. Mobile food units and personnel from the Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi Salvation Army division have been deployed. Additional crews are being brought in from Texas and the Arkansas-Oklahoma Salvation Army.
To donate to the Salvation Army relief effort, call 1-800 SAL-ARMY or donate online at Checks may be mailed to Salvation Army, ALM Division, P.O. Box 487, Jackson, Miss., 39296.
Jason Cannon of the Clanton Advertiser contributed to this report.