Communities With No Gas, Supplies Flock To Lufkin - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/26/05-Lufkin

Communities With No Gas, Supplies Flock To Lufkin

The City of Lufkin has seen an extreme increase in its population, in just a matter of days. Not only is it housing 10,000 evacuees, hundreds of people from surrounding communities are flocking to the area, to buy gasoline and supplies.

Before even getting to Lufkin, the lines at gas stations on Highway 69 showed a sign of what was to come. Once inside Lufkin, there were dozens of cars lined at gas stations.

Some of the people we spoke with at a Chevron gas station in southwest Lufkin say they drove 30 miles to wait in line for an hour just to get gas. They say their cities are completely out of gas and supplies.

Debris is everywhere. One home was spared from being destroyed by a fallen tree, because the tree, instead, fell on a service truck. "The guy lost his truck but it saved our home. It's a win, lose situation. We're happy it didn't land on our house," said Roy Price, a homeowner whose house was nearly pummeled by a tree, brought down by strong winds.

Thousands of homes remain without electricity tonight. Residents say they're frustrated, that they're not getting their questions answered. "I'd like a response. I wish someone would tell me, 'There's a line down a few blocks away from you. We'll have the lights back on.' They don't tell you anything," said Jane Thorton, a Lufkin resident, who's been without electricity since Saturday.

Many traffic signals are not working and things got pretty heated at one of intersection, with people yelling at each other. Even laundromats are seeing their share of activity. "Everybody's trying to get to a washing machine," said Betty Anderpoint. The laundromat's system seemed close to becoming overloaded. "The breaker box is fiery hot. It's doing all it can do right now," said Debby Conarroe, the owner of Maytag Laundry & Services.

TXU says some areas in Lufkin will not have their power restored until the end of the week.

Oralia Ortega, reporting, ortega@kltv.com

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