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Riley begins preparations for hurricane

Gov. Bob Riley on Thursday continued to prepare Alabama for the possible onslaught of Hurricane Gustav.

The governor spoke by telephone Thursday morning to Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator David Paulison, who is currently stationed in New Orleans. Paulison assured the governor that all steps are being taken to protect lives and property in the Gulf Coast region, should Gustav come on shore as a major hurricane.

The governor is also directing Alabama 2-year colleges that have been designated as hurricane shelters to begin preparing to accommodate evacuees, in the event an evacuation is ordered.

Riley has put 3,000 National Guardsman on alert and has directed the Alabama Department of Transportation to prepare their staff to reverse lanes of traffic on I-65, should it become necessary. The Alabama Department of Public Safety is also prepared and stands ready to assist in re-routing traffic.