Lufkin preparing for hurricane season

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's the first storm of the season to make it to the Gulf of Mexico, which is just too close for comfort here in East Texas.

"I don't like water, rain and bad weather," says Lufkin resident Edward Beene.

Lufkin Assistant City Manager and Emergency Coordinator Keith Wright says even though the storm isn't projected to come this way, it's still a good idea to be prepared.

"Anytime there is a hurricane in the Gulf, we're going to pay a lot of attention to it and where it's going," says Wright.

And not just by getting Lufkin ready, but by being "in the know" as to what else is happening around the state.

City officials are participating in state conference calls with up to 600 lines on the call at one time.

"They've been talking about assets the state is moving, they've activated the National Guard, search and rescue teams, incident management teams to help local governments, which is what they do," says Wright.

And knowing what's happening around Texas and along the Gulf will help for the rest of hurricane season too.

And don't forget, Lufkin is an evacuee hub.  So if the coast gets slammed with a storm this summer, East Texas may be coastal residents' next stop.

"Everybody is interested, everybody is paying attention. We are all a little gun shy and want to know what's happening.  So you can't take your eye off what's happening. We will always be watching and paying attention to what any storm is going to do," says Wright.

Besides being ready to ride out the storm, be ready to evacuate.  Have a place for your family to go and have your route mapped out.