Hurricane Ike moving in, Lufkin stands ready

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Officials are at Lufkin High School, sending evacuees to shelters that are set up all over the city.

"This is for the general population coming in by private vehicle," says Jimmy Ragsdale, EMS Coordinator for the Lufkin Fire Department.

A fueling station is ready off Loop 287 near 59-North for mass transit and emergency vehicles.

"This is what the National Guard is all about. This is what makes us different than the regular Army. This is our main mission in life," says Major John Moos, with the Texas Army National Guard.

The Emergency Operations Center at city hall is up and running.  To say the least, this part of East Texas is ready for Ike.

"The problem is the hurricane is so hard to predict. It started in Corpus and now it's headed toward us," says Strickland.

We've seen lines at gas stations since early this morning, some stores already running out of fuel.  Traffic has been heavy on Hwy 59 and Hwy 69, heading into town from Houston and Beaumont, funneling even more traffic into our area, even though contra-flow has not been ordered as of Thursday afternoon.

"If they call for the contra flow, we assist them in establishing the route," says Paul Montgomery, TxDOT's District Emergency Management Coordinator and says TxDOT is on standby working around the clock to assist in whatever traffic problems may arise.

"Basically just monitoring traffic and if there's any way we can figure out we can move it better, we make recommendations to local DPS and go from there," says Montgomery.

Despite the back-ups on the road, the shelters starting to fill up and the million evacuees fleeing the coast, officials here in Lufkin are ready.