Pelham City Council holds emergency meeting, declares local-level state of emergency following flood

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2021

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By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

PELHAM ­– The Pelham City Council held an emergency meeting Tuesday, Oct. 12 to approve a state of emergency proclamation related to the Oct. 6 flood. The flood ravaged most of the Pelham area resulting in severe damages to property.

A proclamation was presented and approved unanimously to declare a local-level state of emergency, authorize the authority of the Pelham police chief to enact a curfew for the city of Pelham if necessary and to amend the Fiscal Year 2022 budget for an earmarked $500,000 for future emergency funds.

“In the event of an existing or threatened state of emergency endangering the lives, safety, health and welfare of the people within the city, or threatening damage to or destruction of property,” the proclamation read,  “the mayor of the city is hereby authorized and empowered to issue public proclamation declaring to all persons the existence of such a state of emergency, and, in order to more effectively protect the lives and property of people within the city, to place in effect any or all of the restrictions hereinafter authorized.”

“First of all, this emergency proclamation is a local measure only,” said Pelham Mayor Gary Waters. “It is not in any way to be confused with the disaster declaration we are seeking from the state. That will be done after assessment is completed by EMA, and will be enacted by the state not the city.”

Waters continued that the request to have $500,000 earmarked for emergency expenditures is “not an absolute, it’s a just in case. We’re incurring expenses associated with the clean-up and the restoration process, so we need to have the okay to spend up to half a million dollars.”

“The third thing we’ve added is the authority to give our police chief authority to declare a curfew should it be necessary,” said Waters. “We are not declaring a curfew, we’re simply enacting the authority so if the situation should arise, we do not have to call this body to order again. It authorizes Pat Cheatwood, our police chief, to enact a curfew with our permission.”