Shelters activate

by Christa Lollis

EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - Several thousand evacuees could hit East Texas in the next 48 hours, as Hurricane Gustav is expected to make landfall on Tuesday.

And the Red Cross is already setting up shelters and getting ready for them. Glenna Harkness with Red Cross in Lufkin says, "We do anticipate evacuees from Louisiana and from the golden triangle area starting to come our way and we want to go ahead and have a place for them to go as soon as they get into town."

They've set up hubs at Lufkin High School and Fredonia Hill Baptist Church in Nacogdoches. Red Cross and the city are asking evacuees to go there first so there are checks and balances on who is at what shelters. "That is where we bring evacuees in and document them and we put them in a computer program that will track them later and we'll assign them to a shelter from that location," Emergency Management Coordinator Keith Wright explained.

The first wave of shelters is open and ready and tomorrow as mandatory evacuations begin in Beaumont, new one's will open. The goal is to try to only use churches. Harkness said, "We're trying to stay outside of the county and we're trying to stay outside of schools, Angelina College, those type things so that we don't interrupt school activities and as long as it does stay Louisiana we're hoping that can take place."

But the Emergency Management Coordinator says, if the storm continues inching towards the Texas coast that might not be possible.