Longview Buses Ready For Dean - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Longview Buses Ready For Dean

The state of Texas is already preparing for possible evacuations on the south coast by having hundreds of buses, some from Longview, on hand to send in case their needed.  Sixteen buses from the Louisiana based Tri-City Charter rolled into Longview today, getting checked out and ready to roll south.

"Basically, they've got it set up now, so that we won't be setting and waiting," said Gilmer bus driver Walter Scott.  "We'll be there to go in get the people out and get them to a safe place."  The drivers were briefed on everything from fueling, to evacuation routes from different regions. Under the authority of the state, the buses will be used to avoid any repeat of the evacuation nightmares of Hurricane Katrina.

"There's going to be plenty of transportation to get them out of there," said Longview Tri-City Charter Manager Jim Pitstick.  "They have no reason not to get out.  There'll be a ride to get them out."  Many of the drivers are veterans of Katrina and Rita, and they know well the value of transportation during a disaster.

"I was one of the drivers also involved in the evacuation of folks from Katrina, and there was a lot of lessons learned from that," said Longview driver Chris Wilson.  "We're prepared for this.  All we need is for the governor, or representatives to tell us where to take these folks and we'll do it in a professional safe manner."  The drivers will stage in San Antonio on Monday, and will be on call for any evacuations needed, for as long as the state requires them.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com


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