PINELLAS COUNTY - The Pinellas County Board of Commissioners approved an Emergency Executive Order just after 1 p.m. Friday, "declaring a state of emergency based on conditions surrounding Hurricane Charley."
The order gives specific instructions, such as "in the case of an inability to get a quorum of board members to make decisions, the Chairman of the board becomes the "official authority."
A dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed "upon all or any portion of the county, thereby prohibiting persons from being on public streets, highways, parks, or other public places commencing on August 13, 2004 from dusk to dawn and continuing until dawn on Aug. 18."
Travel restrictions are further prohibited as the order says travel on public streets, highways or on any other public property is subject to the decisions made by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
The order also imposes a number of restrictions, involving the sale of certain items, including alcohol and explosives, combustibles, firearms and repair tools.
The order restricts and prohibits "the purchase, sale, transfer, or possession of explosives, combustibles, firearms, repair tools, containing combustibles, except when used by competent individuals or dangerous weapons of any kind or alcoholic beverages is hereby prohibited."
The order also takes in the subject of price gouging - something Attorney General Charlie Crist expressed concern about on Wednesday. Crist has activated a price gouging hotline to report any illegal activities. The county order prohibits any state or local business from "charging more than the normal average retail price for any goods, materials, or services sold during a declared state of emergency." The only exception is when wholesale prices rise or the cost of obtaining goods increased because of the state of emergency.
The order also prohibits the "sale or use of gasoline, kerosene, naphtha or any other explosive or flammable fluids" except when those fluids are going into a tank properly affixed to a vehicle or power generator.
Certain people are exempted, including: "Physicians, nurses and ambulance operators performing medical services; on-duty employees of hospitals and other medical facilities; on-duty military personnel, personnel of public utilities maintaining essential public services; county authorized and requested firefighters, emergency medical personnel, law enforcement officers and personnel; and such other classes or persons as may be essential to the preservation of public order or necessary to serve safety, health and welfare needs of the people within the county."