Deputies won’t be collaring people who stay put

By on October 3, 2012

Traffic backs up in the evacuation for Irene. (Russ Lay)

Dare County Manager Bobby Outten offered assurances this week that deputies won’t be sent out to arrest people who decline to leave for a mandatory evacuation.

Confusion arose after a Hampton Roads television report said a new state law called for a fine of up to $1,000 for people who refuse to heed an evacuation order for a hurricane. It soon spread through social media on the Internet.

There is a new state law, Outten told the Board of Commissioner Monday, but refusal to evacuate was always considered a misdemeanor if towns and counties elected to crack down.

In the last legislative session, lawmakers cleaned up the statute pertaining to emergency management.

“They made all the definitions consistent, they took various statutes and put them together but made very few, if any, substantive changes at all,” Outten said.

One of the changes made the penalty for refusing to leave the same under a local order as it would be if the governor called for a mandatory evacuation.

Evacuations on the Outer Banks have historically been ordered locally.

Before, the penalty for violating a local order was a class-three misdemeanor. Now, both are class-two misdemeanors, essentially increasing a local fine that has never been imposed.

“We’ve had that authority, I suppose, forever, and we’ve never arrested anybody, we’ve never fined anybody, we’ve never taken anybody out of their homes,” Outten said. “There is no plan to do that.”

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Comments

obxsurfer

October 9, 2012 4:03 pm

I’ve been through every hurricane since Bertha in 1996, and never evacuated for one yet. This is by far one of the best places in the country when it comes to hurricane preparedness, if these authorities are gonna force me to evacuate well they better front money for the hotel and gas costs.

obxcarl

October 8, 2012 9:55 am

I don’t care if you leave or not. What I care about is when you don’t leave, wait till it’s to late and then ask someone to risk thier life to come get your sorry ass. You want to brave it out find. I have seen before people calling for help when they should have left in the first place. Get your food and water before hand and shore up your house than sit tight. Couple years ago someone got caught and after help got there the people were already gone. So the guys risked thier selfs for nothing. That’s wrong.

builder

October 6, 2012 5:55 pm

Ill leave when you peal the gun from my dead hands.

Kevin Gray Conner

October 5, 2012 7:50 am

“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it,” so we’ll have to wait and to see if this tempts those in power, because it is in fact a mighty sword in which they can wield.

eggcelent

October 4, 2012 2:41 pm

Is Bobby Outten now the Sheriff too?

Ginny

October 4, 2012 8:08 am

I’m sorry if you have the power you can choose to exercise it any time you like.

Change the damn law.

Wanchezzer

October 4, 2012 8:04 am

beachornot says: Neither Mr. Outten nor Mr. Judge will be with us forever. It’s all well and good for us to receive their personal assurance that this law will never be enforced. It’s a state law and the state could order it enforced or a future replacement could see things differently. This is the same insidious manner in which the NPS strengthened their grip on Hatteras Island.

EXACTLY… Once a State of Emergency is declared all bets are off !

it ain’t easy be’in chezzzy :)

Brian Glave

October 3, 2012 6:31 pm

Working as a maintenance tech on the beach for 10 yrs I have seen several people refuse to leave. I think this being enforced as a secondary offense is a good thing and would help deter looting, vandalism, and bad behaviors that put others at risk.

Dave Douglas

October 3, 2012 4:45 pm

It has been my experience that to leave your home for a category 1 hurricane would be quite foolish. There are liability issues that result in evacuation orders, making people stay away from their homes only results in greater loss and theft of property and damage control can’t be done until somebody thinks you can handle it. I saw in the last hurricane and flood that the local fire department did much more damage playing in the flooded streets with the big army truck than the hurricane and the flood combined did in my community! My belongings were pilfered even while I was at home, so imagine leaving! Thousand dollar fine would be a bargain!

SekZ

October 3, 2012 3:08 pm

This law should be enforced to vacationers, mainly because they don’t own property here. Vacationers have the option of purchasing travel insurance which will cover the expenses caused by a mandatory evacuation. I do believe that a local home owner/resident shouldn’t be forced out or fined for not evacuating their property.

teedoff

October 3, 2012 1:45 pm

So they say!!

beachornot

October 3, 2012 1:35 pm

Neither Mr. Outten nor Mr. Judge will be with us forever. It’s all well and good for us to receive their personal assurance that this law will never be enforced. It’s a state law and the state could order it enforced or a future replacement could see things differently. This is the same insidious manner in which the NPS strengthened their grip on Hatteras Island.

taxpayer

October 3, 2012 1:17 pm

Our tax money hard at work!!!! Thanks to the legislature for amending an unenforced law to one that won’t be enforced either.

Pat

October 3, 2012 1:02 pm

I can see this being used as a ‘secondary’…If you are caught breaking other laws during a mandatory evac they will tack this one as well….

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