New law could bring fines for ignoring mandatory evacuations in North Carolina

A new law in North Carolina means you could face a fine and criminal charges if you ignore a mandatory evacuation order.

The law passed in this year’s General Assembly and goes into effect October 1st.

It makes it a class-two misdemeanor to not leave when ordered to do so. Those who stay could be fined up to $1,000 and be removed from their homes.

Dare County Emergency Management Coordinator Sandy Sanderson explains, “It gives us the leverage if we have people in a threatened area who do not want to leave to go ahead and move them.”

Sarah Letchford says she’s a bit ambivalent about the law. She’s only evacuated once in the more than 10 years that she’s called the Outer Banks home. However, she does understand the reasoning.

“They kind of have to draw a line at some point and say ‘Hey, we’re not going to keep doing this’ because it comes down to money and resources, too,” Letchford said.

Nags Head resident Andrew Hawbaker agrees saying,  “If you are someone who doesn’t evacuate and you need assistance, should you have to put some money toward that? I mean, it kind of is your fault.”

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