Gustav comes and goes in Lufkin, officials say it went well

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Gustav came and went with just a little wind and rain here, but sent thousands fleeing from the coast. As early as Saturday, Lufkin shelters were ready.

John Cobb and his family came here from New Iberia, Louisiana.

"Excellent, excellent. The pastor here is the hardest working I've known in a long time. They greeted us well," says Cobb.

City officials like Lt. Charles Graham with the Lufkin Police say they've been planning long before the storm made landfall.

"How did it go this weekend? Surprisingly smooth.  There were a few rough spots but they worked themselves out and went good," says Lt. Graham.

Nearly 2500 ended up in Lufkin shelters. Most of which are now empty.  Volunteers are just putting away cots and blankets and sweeping the floors after a full weekend.

Lt. Graham says, "Due to the training that city officials and state and local governments and even federal officials have, the training we've been receiving and undergoing has really helped us and prepared us for it."

Three teams of the Texas State Guard were also in town, at six different shelters.  Commander Jerald Hill says they were here to provide shelter safety.

"90 percent of my unit has been in Katrina and Rita, Dean and a few in Tyler got called up for Dolly. We are very seasoned in what we do. Even though this is an emergency state, we look at it as practice so we can learn to do things better," says Commander Hill.

Two shelters are still open.  Lufkin officials say they will keep those shelters running and not close them until the people staying there can go home.

Even though the worst of it never really hit home in Lufkin, the city's command center was operational up until Tuesday afternoon.

Officials are watching the radar to see where Gustav goes and they are checking the satellites for the next storms brewing in the Atlantic.