Community leaders meet to plan for 2009 hurricane season

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - "We feel pretty ready, you know, we've done this multiple times now.  We've got the drill down and I don't know if any exercise or any training will help us any more than the actual events we've been through," said Assistant City of Lufkin Manager Keith Wright.

There's nothing like the past to prepare for a more organized hurricane season.

"We have to prepare every year and we've learned so much from lessons learned from the '05 hurricane season," said Director of American Red Cross of Deep East Texas Glenna Harkness.

The storms that ravaged East Texas left people taking shelter for weeks, but hopefully shelters will stay empty this year.

"I highly doubt we'll see another major hurricane hit the upper Texas coast this year.  First of all, the odds of it on any given year are pretty low and considering we had Ike last year, the odds are even lower this year," said KTRE Chief Meteorologist Brad Hlozek.

However, when a hurricane is coming at you, it's tough to think of everything.

"Well it's always a disaster and there's always something that comes up that you don't plan for," said Harkness.

You can never be sure there's not a storm brewing.

"We well know from last year with Ike that just because we don't have an above average year forecast, that doesn't mean we can't see a landfalling hurricane along the upper Texas coast," said Hlozek.

So, rain or shine, the community will be ready.

The American Red Cross of Deep East Texas said they are looking for more shelters, preferrably churches.   If you know of a shelter or you want to volunteer contact the Red Cross.