East Texas ready for evacuees

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Janis Demarest - email

East Texas is ready in the event Alex evacuees head our way.

Hurricane preparedness is nothing new for our area, but we discovered this year things will be different.

In 2008, nearly 4,000 people descended upon east Texas running from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, "A community our size, that was an incredible amount of evacuees so we're trying to do something we can do at the level we think we can provide better services and do a better job," says Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass.

The city of Tyler will only accept about 1,400 self-evacuees and 600 medical evacuees.

More than 1,000 shelter locations have been scouted by the Smith County chapter of the American Red Cross, "We are always ready when the next one comes and we're always making adjustments," says volunteer coordinator Linda Edwards.

Gregg County will be ready to take in 2,000 Texans. These will be evacuees bused in for shelter.
The plan is to check them in at Lear Park then bring them to the Longview fairgrounds where mobile tent-like shelters will be waiting, "It's worked in the military, it's worked in the wild land firefighting in the western United States and we know it'll work here," says Longview Assistant Fire Chief Kenny Southwell.

Although Tyler and Longview officials say they are ready, they don't believe we'll be implementing any shelter plans for Alex.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.