The city of Tyler is now officially relieved of its duty.
This morning, the city of Beaumont lifted its mandatory evacuation, meaning more than 3,000 evacuees will soon head back home. For the last three days, they found safe haven from Hurricane Gustav in 21 area shelters. City officials say it was a huge undertaking, one they can be proud of.
"There is no doubt that as smoothly as everything went, when the phone calls were made, people were activated to do their part, it worked, and we're very excited about how it worked, and that we were able to be a city that was participating and helping in a time of need," said Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass.
The city says buses are scheduled to pick up evacuees without personal vehicles tomorrow morning to take them back to Beaumont.
With the all clear for Beaumont, some evacuees wasted no time, anxious and eager to get back to life as normal. Today, KLTV 7's Layron Livingston caught up with people before heading back to southeast Texas and Louisiana, and they're determined not to let anything stand in their way.
He's on his way back to Port Arthur...at least that's Joseph Trahan's plan.
"If God willing....I'm hoping we'll get out today."
His Delta 88 was one of four cars he and his family of sixteen people drove to Tyler, seeking shelter from Hurricane Gustav.
They're hoping it will get them back home on Tuesday.
"It ran hot on me coming here...I had no choice, I had to get my mother out of there. She's a dialysis patient, so..."
Like thousands of evacuees from the Beaumont area, Ara Morris is ready to get home.
"Right now, we're just waiting for the buses."
She doesn't know yet what she's going home to.
"I'm anxious to go back and see for myself. I feel very positive...I'm all prayed up. I know that everybody is going to be okay," Morris told me today.
Brad Eschete is from Thibodaux, Louisiana.
"A lot of trees on the road...power lines.....they're telling us it may be three weeks before we have electricity."
But that's not stopping him. Everyone in his family, including the dogs, are ready to leave their hotel.
"We're going to go home....and we have generators and all. Only bad thing about it, gas at 4 dollars a gallon...that'll be some expensive cooling at night!"
Hurricane Gustav made landfall close to Houma, Lousiana.
That's where Ernest Hartman is from.
"They say we might get back in around Friday."
He's staying put for now.
The outlook is a little better for others.
"We're headed home....you can't ask for anything better than that." Against all odds.
This afternoon, KLTV 7 confirmed that Governor Rick Perry will be in Tyler tomorrow to visit with Hurricane Gustav evacuees and volunteers.
The Governor's office has asked that no specifics on the visit be released. We plan to be there during his visit.