The City of Huntsville and County Judge Danny Pierce issued a countywide curfew for all areas of Walker County early Monday morning amid Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
The 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew was established as a safety precaution and is meant to protect those who do not need to be on the roadways for work. After emergency responders assisted with several high-water rescues Sunday night due to the heavy rains of Hurricane Harvey, Judge Pierce said issuing the curfew was the safest plan.
“This is primarily for safety,” Pierce said. “We had more than 30 water rescues last night and a lot of that was from people who are dealing with cabin fever and were just out driving around. The county has one high-water rescue team with a boat in New Waverly and they were having to run around all over the place. They are stretched thin and need to be available to evacuate people in areas where it is truly needed.”
Anyone who violates the curfew is subject to receive a $1,000 fine and/or 180 days confinement in the Walker County Jail.
The only individuals exempt from the curfew are those traveling to or from a place of employment, assisting with emergency operations at the request of the Emergency Management Coordinator or his designee, traveling through Walker County, or otherwise unable to comply due to an emergency necessity.
“This will not affect anyone going to work,” Pierce said.
The curfew will be in effect until further notice. Drivers are also reminded not to drive around barricades indicating road closures, not only for their personal safety but for the safety of emergency responders who have to come to the rescue. It is also a class B misdemeanor which carries a punishment of up to 180 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000.
Relief efforts for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey are on going. The Walker County Storm Shelter (455 State Hwy 75 N, Huntsville, TX 77320) is in need of volunteers. Call (936) 435-2400, or visit the Storm Shelter for more information.