by Wesley Brown
Kinston Free Press
Mayor asked public, except those commuting to work, to stay inside from dusk to dawn
The Kinston Department of Public Safety increased the number of patrol officers on neighborhood streets Monday with Mayor B.J. Murphy declaring a dusk-to-dawn curfew until the city fully regains power.
In order to the public safe and their property secure, Murphy ordered all residents, except those making their way to and from work, to stay inside their homes between the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. as long as servicemen and women work to get Kinston’s electricity back to 100 percent.
Bill Johnson, director of the city’s public safety department, said officers have hung posters in convenience stores to inform the public of the curfew and the prohibition of alcohol sales during curfew hours.
With dozens of stoplights remaining inoperable throughout the city, Johnson strongly urged all residents to treat all traffic lights not illuminated as a four-way stop, as required by state law.
The chief said no major accidents have occurred because of blinking or unlit lights, and that the state of limbo incurred at most intersections in the past few days should ease up with the city getting lights on King, Herritage and Queen Streets and Vernon Avenue working again.
“The community has responded well. We have not had a lot of unusual activity,” Johnson said. “We know this is a stressful situation for everyone and appreciate their patience.”
Rhonda Barwick, director of Kinston Department of Public Services, said garbage crews will continue their regular pickup as the city agency activated its debris contract with Lenoir County. She asked residents to separate storm debris from household trash and to leave any items discarded away from the curb to prevent blocked storm drains from flooding.
Officials urged everyone to report an outage as it happens, stay away from all downed power lines because they may be energized and to call Lenoir County’s Emergency Operation Center at 252-526-6666 if they have any medical issues that require special attention.
Wesley Brown can be reached at 252-559-1075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.