New Law Offers Choices: Evacuate Or Get Arrested

Texas law backs mandatory severe weather evacuations

Police will soon be able to arrest people who don't leave town under mandatory evacuation orders thanks to a new state law that goes into effect in the heart of Texas' hurricane season.

The law was passed this year and is effective Sept. 1. It also applies to other disasters, such as fires or floods.

As it stands, officials can't compel people to evacuate. They can only warn that those who stay behind won't have any emergency services at their disposal.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports the new law gives county judges and mayors the power to authorize use of "reasonable force" to remove people from the area.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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