Mayor Barbara Bass announced at a press conference this afternoon that a City of Tyler team has been sent to Beaumont to provide assistance to Beaumont officials in their response efforts; to act as a liaison between the two communities, and to obtain first-hand information about the current conditions in the community. The team is driving the Police Department's mobile command unit and will be completely self sufficient.
"We would like to do whatever we can to assist and be a good partner," said Mayor Bass. "We are very invested in understanding the status of the response to the hurricane. This is also a good opportunity for our first responders to learn best practices in dealing with disasters."
The team is expected to stay in Beaumont for 2-3 days offering support to officials there.
In Tyler, efforts to care for the 1910 evacuees remaining in shelters continue. The closure of the Glass Center medical special needs shelter was completed yesterday afternoon. The highest acuity patients in the remaining two medical special needs shelters are being moved to care centers in the community so that they will receive the best care possible. There are no immediate plans to close any additional shelters.
"The evacuees are naturally anxious to get back home and to hear more about the status of their home," said Mayor Bass. "We are doing everything we can to keep them comfortable and safe."
Many evacuees have asked shelter managers about opportunities to gain temporary and permanent employment. Harold Womble of Workforce Solutions of East Texas reports that they are providing free access to their computers and phones and are assisting evacuees in applying for disaster unemployment benefits. They can be reached at (903) 561-8131.
Many of the evacuees arrived in Tyler with only the clothing they were wearing. This is a big need in the shelters at this time. Clothing donations for evacuees can be made at the following locations:
Church of Christ Benevolence Center
215 S. Bonner
Distributions to evacuees will be made from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Donations can be made anytime at the drop box.
Small donations of clothing items will also be accepted at:
St. Paul Children's Foundation
1358 East Richards
Evacuees are encouraged to register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or going to Fema.gov. Information about reimbursement of hotel expenses is on the FEMA website.
Other services still available to evacuees include: