New Emergency Operations Center coming online in Sabine County

County Judge Watson and Emergency Management Coordinator Thibodeaux
County Judge Watson and Emergency Management Coordinator Thibodeaux

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – A new Emergency Operations Center is about two weeks away from being operational in Sabine County.

East Texas Guns has had a front row seat to trailers being hauled in across the street and parked next to the Sabine County Law Enforcement Center.

"I've been seeing a lot of work and activity over there for the past 4 to 6 weeks," said Jalane Andrews, Co-owner of East Texas Guns.

Andrews has watched and wondered what's going on at the Sheriff's Office.

"Installing Air conditioning, electrical. You know you just see the guys working hard and running lines," said Andrews.

In two weeks those trailers could be the center of Sabine County's Emergency Operations. The need for a response team has only grown.

"Couple of hurricanes, we had a tornado, we had floods, we had an airplane crash," said Gordon Thibodeaux, Sabine Co. Emergency Management Coordinator.

Thibodeaux says the team had been using a squad room in the Sheriff's Office.

"And it was a disaster. It didn't work out well," said Thibodeaux.

"We interfered with the traffic. The officers had people to interview and different things going on," said Sabine Co. Judge Charles Watson.

County leaders knew they had to get a separate emergency operations center (E.O.C.) for the county, but we're afraid of the cost to tax payers. When the two F.E.M.A. trailers became available for under $3,000 it was an answer to their prayers.

"The Homeland Security grant money to do the inside equipment that we need for inside so that won't cost the tax payers," said Watson.

Running on a tight budget, they believe will work. An upgraded, centralized, coordinated E.O.C. will keep county residents safer.

"We shouldn't lose anyone out in the woods hopefully. This will be much better for people to communicate and get the help that they need," said Watson.

Run-throughs are planned next which will test their new E.O.C. for the next disaster.

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