Officials: evacuate or stay home

Published 4:01 pm Monday, October 10, 2016


The county was on high alert Monday as officials coped with an extended power outage and continue preparing for flooding the likes of which hasn’t been seen in Washington since back-to-back hurricanes in 1999.

Law enforcement and Beaufort County officials are united in advising residents to stay home and off the roads when power is down and traffic lights nonfunctioning in Washington. They’re also extending that same warning to Wednesday and beyond, when the Pamlico River will rise days after Hurricane Matthew, much like Hurricane Floyd did in 1999.

“What we’re telling people is whatever you saw in Floyd, be prepared for that,” said County Manager Brian Alligood. “If you were in an area that flooded last time, get out now. It’s coming. It might be nice and sunny outside, but it is coming.”

“We’re advising people to stay at home or in the shelter as much as they can, to stay off the roadways,” said Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Charlie Rose. “A lot of the people in this area have seen the type flooding that we’re going to get if they were here in ’99.”

Law enforcement agencies are putting more officers and deputies on shifts to accommodate for the circumstances.

In Washington, a curfew was enacted on Sunday night that ran from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. Monday morning. Washington Police and Fires Services Director Stacy Drakeford said WPD officers are heavily patrolling business districts as a proactive measure, and addressed those who were out after end of curfew.

“We are stopping people,” Drakeford said. “Last night was pretty good. There wasn’t a lot of people out so the curfew is actually working.”

Drakeford’s main concern is traffic accidents. Though only five accidents had been reported in Washington since Saturday’s power outage, Drakeford said people need to be particularly cautious when driving.

“People need to be aware when the lights are out that intersection becomes a four-way stop,” Drakeford said. “If you don’t have to be on the roads, stay off the roads, because of outages, because of the traffic situation. Unless it’s absolutely important, stay off the road.”

Rose said that residents should not hesitate to call law enforcement if they need help or see something suspicious in the coming days. He also said residents should be prepared.

“People need to make plans to be able to take care of themselves for days, not just for the short term,” Rose said.

“If they were cut off in Floyd, they will be cut off again. We will not be able to reach them,” Alligood said. “Make smart decisions and think about what you’re doing. Remember what you went through in Floyd. …. We need people to be patient. And I know patience gets short the longer this drags on. But please be patient.”

National Guard troops have been called in to assist with emergency management in the coming days, he said.













Not at this time, had talked to the chairman about they and he said we will continue to evaluate it  but not at the is time. It all depends on how long we stay without power.


Folks need to treat intersections as four-stops. I know people don’t’ understand that, but we don’t need a bunch of traffic accidents.

People need to stay off the roads and conserve.