Heads up, Tuscaloosa and Northport (and surrounding areas): We could be in for some rough weather in coming hours. March is, apparently, living up to the adage "In like a lion."

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for our area, effective until 6 p.m. As of 1 p.m., the timeline for West Alabama appeared to be between 1 and 5 p.m. The strongest of the storms may bring damaging winds, hail and the possibility of a few "brief" tornadoes.

By Katherine Chatmon

The University of Alabama’s enrollment has nearly doubled in the past 15 years, from 19,633 students in 2001 to 37,665 students in 2016.

This upward trend is expected to continue as UA expands with various building projects projected to be completed by 2020. Housing Administration Associate Director Kimberly Sterritt said that the goal to reach 50,000 students is on track.

“The new Tutwiler building should be completed by 2020,” Sterritt said. “The new hall beside Lakeside is projected to be completed by Fall 2018.”

Traffic control on Jack Warner Parkway will shift Monday, Jan. 23 to the segment from 21st Avenue to Queen City Avenue. This project is expected to take a while, so area drivers, take note.

The 21st Avenue intersection traffic signal will be taken out of service, the north leg of 21st avenue will be closed and a temporary three-way stop will be in place for about two weeks.

Area residents who want to learn more about exactly how their tax dollars are being spent now have access to that information, thanks to a new effort by Tuscaloosa city officials.

The city of Tuscaloosa has launched an online financial transparency portal, an effort officials say will allow the city to strengthen its accountability, allowing taxpayers to see where funds are budgeted and how funds are spent.

A layer of snow and ice continued to cause travel issues throughout West Alabama – and much of the state, on Saturday afternoon. Temperatures did not climb above freezing, meaning many area roadways remain dangerously slick or impassible entirely.

Emergency officials spent much of the day responding to accidents and stranded motorists, and continued to recommend that everyone stay put if at all possible.

FYI: By now you’ve no doubt heard about the possibility of wintry weather here in our area, but it does seem like the confidence is increasing that it will actually happen.

The National Weather Service’s latest forecast suggests Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas will get up to two inches of snow between Friday and Saturday morning. In addition, and perhaps more concerning, is the possibility of sleet accumulations south of I-20. We are under a Winter Weather Advisory in Tuscaloosa County from 6 a.m. on Friday to 9 a.m. on Saturday.

The DCH Health System recently received a grant to purchase lifesaving equipment for the Neonatal Intensive Care Units at DCH Regional Medical Center and Northport Medical Center.

Brave Beginnings, a program of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, recently awarded DCH a grant to purchase two stand-alone ventilators that attach to portable Giraffe OmniBeds.

Tuscaloosa is one of several Alabama cities getting allocations for rail station-area planning.

At its meeting in December, the Southern Rail Commission announced over $2 million in funding to communities in three states. The grants are earmarked for restoring and improving passenger rail service. Funds are expected to be available in early-2017.

City officials want to let everyone in town know that there are some prominent road closures happening – so plan accordingly.

All the rain Tuscaloosa has seen in recent days, including on Monday, has resulted in a decision to move the 41st Annual West Alabama Christmas Parade to Thursday, Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Becky Booker with Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority said in addition, the tree lighting ceremony on the steps of the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse has been canceled. Booker did add that the Grand Marshal Reception would be held as originally scheduled.

“All parade line up procedures, times, and rules will still apply on Thursday,” Booker said.

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.



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