ND emergency officials want power to order mandatory evacuations

BISMARCK, N.D. (GPN) – The head of North Dakota’s emergency management agency says local officials should have power to order evacuations during floods or other disasters. Greg Wilz spoke to the North Dakota House’s Political Subdivisions Committee on Thursday about the idea. The committee will make a recommendation on the bill later. The bill gives a local mayor or county commission chairman the power to order people to leave their homes during a disaster. There’s no penalty for not complying. Wilz says during the widespread flooding in North Dakota two years ago, it was tough to get a quick decision on an evacuation because local people couldn’t take that step. Right now, only the governor can give a mandatory evacuation order.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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