Polk County issues voluntary evacuation order in advance of Hurricane Laura

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POLK COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy has issued a voluntary evacuation order for the county in response to the approach of Hurricane Laura.

“At this time, we are encouraging Polk County residents who are currently residing in substandard housing, including mobile homes and travel trailers (especially in the tornado impacted areas) to seek shelter with relatives or friends,” the Polk County Emergency Management Office posted on Facebook.

Polk County was hit hard by an EF3 tornado in April, and, according to the order, “many homes are still damaged/under repair and residents are still living in substandard housing.”

The county is “anticipating hurricane-force winds” from Laura,” and officials fear “these structures may not withstand these winds.”

Because the hurricane is coming in the midst of a pandemic, officials are urging those who evacuate “to first seek shelter with a relative, friends, or hotel/motel.”

Upon arrival at a county shelter, “persons will be screened for COVID symptoms ans be required to wear a mask.”

The order takes effect immediately

Polk is one of the counties under a disaster declaration issued by Governor Greg Abbott.

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