At a press conference this afternoon, City of Tyler officials reported that Beaumont's mandatory evacuation order will not be lifted today, and that Tyler's evacuees will remain here.
"I spoke to Mayor Becky Ames at noon today," said Mayor Barbara Bass. "She said they are taking it hour by hour and working to resolve the issues that keep Beaumont residents from their homes. Tyler remains committed to providing shelter to residents from our sister city; however we are looking for ways to streamline our operations."
Efforts to relocate medical special needs evacuees from the shelter at the City's Glass Center will allow that shelter to close. More than 100 evacuees have been cared for at this center. By moving these evacuees to the two other medical special needs shelters, resources such as doctors and nurses can be used more efficiently.
The City's largest shelter on Troup Highway is now the hub for distributing supplies to the remaining 18 shelters that are housing 2,173 evacuees from Beaumont. The warehouse space in the former Wal-Mart store is housing water, paper products and canned food items that are then taken to other shelters as they are needed.
Self-evacuees who came in their own vehicles are strongly encouraged to NOT return to Beaumont as the basic services that would allow them to stay in the City are not in place. The City of Tyler is working closely to assist the State in developing a transition plan that will be shared with evacuees as soon as it is solidified.
Many agencies in Tyler have stepped up to assist the evacuees. Some of the services available include:
- The City of Tyler will continue to provide free fixed route transit services to evacuees in shelters. A map of bus routes can be found at cityoftyler.org.
- The Salvation Army is continuing to provide free meals to evacuees in hotels and staying in private residences. Reservations can be made by calling (903)592-4361and are required.
- Evacuees with shelter wristbands are able to utilize internet services for free at the City Library. Free books are also available in the lobby of the Library for evacuees.
- Goodwill has announced that they will give away free clothing to evacuees at the 409 W. Locust location tomorrow at 9 a.m. (Arrive prior to 9 a.m.)
Evacuees can register for F.E.M.A. assistance by calling 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or going to Fema.gov. Information about reimbursement of hotel expenses is on the FEMA website.
Clean up efforts are almost complete in the City of Tyler. All streets have been cleared and crews are picking up the remaining debris in the right of ways.
"I again wish to thank all the people in the Tyler area who are stepping forward to help our fellow Texans in need," said Mayor Bass. "I am so proud to be part of this community."