Longview's expected evacuees sent west, north, as Gustav threat approaches town

Gregg County was expecting to have buses of evacuees arriving, but we've learned Sunday night that won't be happening. County officials tell KLTV 7's Bob Hallmark that since Gustav's remains will be hitting East Texas, they are turning their attention to watching for problems at home.

As a steady stream of Louisiana and South Texas evacuees came through the Gregg County processing center. An announcement from the city changed the emergency plan drastically, and for those evacuees who have made it to this Longview shelter, it's not over yet. Gustav isn't done, as it's predicted to come across the Longview area later this week.

The projected course means massive amounts of rain will hit Gregg county by Tuesday, and because of it, counties that would have sent buses of evacuees our way are sending them farther west and north.

"There's a lot of relief and then just folks that are curious about whats going to happen," said Tim Hill, a shelter organizer.

Longview city officials now worry about low lying areas, flooded streets and the Sabine bulging out of its banks from a projected 12 to 15 inches of rain.

"It's going to be very difficult to get around town," said John Bolster, the pro-tem mayor of Longview.

"We are prepositioning a number of barricades in low lying areas in the community in the city and in the county," said Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt.

EOC organizers now are concerned about Longview citizens weathering the storm.

"If you know you live in a low lying area prone to flooding in the past, be aware."

People already heading to Longview will still be assigned to the shelters. The processing center at Lear Park will be open around the clock to accept evacuees.

Bob Hallmark reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com