Gov. Riley issues State of Emergency Declaration for Hurricane Dennis

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 11, 2005

In response to Hurricane Dennis Alabama Gov. Bob Riley issued a State of Emergency address today to address potential problems.

Perhaps the most important advice came at the end of the statement. Riley warned against unfair price hikes by saying:

FURTHER, in accordance with the Code of Alabama (1975), Sections 8-31-1through 8_31-6, I hereby place all persons on notice that it is unlawful for any person within the State of Alabama to impose unconscionable prices for the sale or rental of any commodity or rental facility during the period of a declared State of Emergency.

The local office of the District Attorney has made it clear that they will not tolerate any unfair price gouging and would prosecute to the full extent of the law.

When asked, several local gas stations said they did not expect

a price increase through the storm.

The remainder of the address states:

WHEREAS,the State ofAlabamais under imminent threat of a hurricane, namely Hurricane “Dennis”; and WHEREAS, it is expected that many counties and individuals will experience damage to public and private property; and WHEREAS,it is expected that individuals will be exposed to physical injury or death; and WHEREAS, disruption of essential utility systems may occur causing extreme peril to the citizens in the state; and WHEREAS,all of the above could adversely affect the health, safety, and economy of the people of the state; and WHEREAS,increased danger to the health and safety of the citizens of Alabama is currently occurring as a result of voluntary evacuation activities currently in progress, causing significantly increased traffic flows and overcrowding of the highways of the state; and WHEREAS, the State of Alabama is under imminent threat of increased rain activity and storm surge, which is expected to increase dramatically over the next 72 hours, and as a result of all of these occurring hurricane dangers, the citizens of MobileandBaldwinCounties are already taking necessary actions to protect themselves and their property from injury and harm.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Bob Riley, Governor of the State of Alabama, do hereby declare that a State of Emergency exists in the State of Alabama and ask that the appropriate state agencies exercise their statutory authority to assist the entities affected.

I also direct the Alabama Emergency Management Agency to make the appropriate assessment of damages and seek the necessary state and federal assistance for the affected areas. I also order the opening and operating of emergency shelters and emergency special needs shelters in any and all cities and counties where deemed necessary and appropriate by EMA officials in conjunction with local government officials.