Lufkin police encourage residents to stay home, shelter in place

Lufkin Police released a statement Saturday night on the damage to their area. The full text of the release is below.

The worst of the storm appears to have passed but we are still under a weather and wind advisory.  The city is still receiving new reports of trees still falling, even this late in the day.  Every part of the City of Lufkin has been affected by downed trees, damaged homes and power outages.

We strongly encourage citizens to stay home.  Shelter in place and do not go out unless it is an emergency.  Most of the traffic lights in Lufkin are off because the electricity is off.  Motorists who have to get out because of emergencies should treat these lights as 4-way stops.  This is a dangerous situation that can be helped if people will just stay home.

Most of Lufkin is without electricity at this time.  Oncor Electric has crews out working already as does the City of Lufkin.  Oncor warns us that it may be days before power is restored.  The State of Texas Division of Emergency Management has stated this is one of the largest power outages in Texas history.

Do not call 911 or the City of Lufkin to report your power out.  Call your electric provider.

Do call  911 is the downed power lines are arcing, causing a fire or threatening human life.

The City of Lufkin already has strike team crews out to remove trees from the roadways.  City personnel will NOT remove down trees from private homes or property unless its part of a rescue effort to free someone trapped in a home or vehicle.   Removal of downed trees on private property is the responsibility of the property owner.   Priority for tree removal will be given to major thoroughfares and main travel routes through Lufkin.  Restoration of electric service will prioritize those critical infrastructures like hospitals and medical care facilities.

No coastal city or county has opened for re-entry of their residents.  They are asking that evacuees stay where they are and do not return to the coastal area.  Most are without power or water and are mostly unable to provide basic services to their citizens.

Of the 24 shelters Lufkin has for evacuees, only three of them have power.  If Lufkin residents need a shelter they can check in at the Lufkin High School hub and be assigned to a shelter.  The shelters provide food and a roof but most have no electricity and those that do are full.

Current reports indicate there is no service station in Lufkin with electricity and gasoline, so no gas is available right now.

Lufkin is not instituting a curfew but we have more than doubled the number of police on the street.  They will be taking a zero tolerance policy on looting and stealing.  We strongly encourage everyone to stay home and shelter in place.  There is no fuel to be had in Lufkin tonight and the roads are littered with debris and downed trees and the already treacherous driving will become even more dangerous after sundown.

All of the City of Lufkin's departments are functioning and working extra hours to keep providing the basic city services to our citizens.