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Today's Email Special: Texas Responds


My "correspondent" in Texas (hey, he has written here before) was out and about in Texas this week, helping where he could The following is his report, with photos:

FWIW, in my hometown, and hundreds of communities all over Texas, we're setting up long-term shelters for the victims of Katrina. It's not just Houston and San Antonio... it's places you never heard of. Killeen, Mexia, Corsicana, Athens, Corpus Christi, Kingsville... places with nothing more to offer than a civic center or a high school gym, but it will work.
My own hometown (pop 57,000) is taking in about 400.. I was up at a recently closed grocery store working with some people getting it ready. There were about a hundred there today - the Army has been great (Ft. Hood is very close) - the 13th Corps Support Command is bringing a portable shower rig out.

I'm beginning to understand now how Texas is managing to take up to 200,000 displaced people.

And others are stepping up as well of course (I even saw on Fox that Massachusetts is taking in 2500 immediately). oday and yesterday were all about "get supplies ready". Food, water, clothes, diapers, formula, blankets.

It occurs to me as the days unfold that it's not too soon to start thinking about children and Christmas. Random thought.

We're being told (by FEMA and state agencies, coordinating through local officials) to get a place ready for refugees, but there's no clear indication about who will arrive when. That's due in large part to how communities are responding with "here's what we can do" and that picture changes daily. I talked to a friend of mine this morning who said there are hundreds who arrived yesterday at the Hilton in Grapevine (near DFW airport).

So we're getting ready but we're not sure what for. A preposition is a terrible thing to end a sentence with. Ahem.

If the location is deemed not needed, we will pack up this stuff and ship it wherever we're asked. BTW, this is Temple, Texas, about a half hour south of Waco, an hour north of Austin.

The last picture is one of a 1st Cav convoy I caught on the way home.. interestingly they were headed north on I-35 instead of south and east. I called a 1st Sgt. I know in the Cav and he said they were going to cut east south of Dallas and head east cause the highways back into the area are more open from Shreveport south. The Cav boys were taking generators and water purifying equipment with them.

If you want info about a specific shot, let me know. The older guy lifting his hat off is a guy named Leroy.. it was pretty warm in the building today (no ac until people are going to be housed there). The guy behind him and to the left is a local contractor named Lowell - he put off three jobs this weekend to help coordinate this. My youngest kid worked with them today too.

texas shoes leroy supplies water clothes helping-hand helping-hands convoy

And let me just add to Dave's email: If you think that looks like a lot of stuff, just remember the over one million people have been displaced by Katrina.

Kids of Katrina

Project Backpack
Katrina Kids relief
Donate your RV or trailer


I'm a correspondent? Cool.

Is there a dental plan?

Corrections/updates: 13th COSCOM was contacted and asked if they could respond with the portable shower - said they probably could but will wait until a decision is made on whether this location will be used.

My friend said he wasn't sure that the Cav had been deployed yet, more likely the Texas 49th National Guard. Ok, whatever. A column of brown Army trucks.

Read in the Waco paper this morning that Baylor U has taken in 6 displaced students, allowing them to attend classes at no charge.

Dallas Morning News has a story about other shelters around the state.

Estimates say about 100,000 in hotels/motels and another 139,000 in 137 shelters from Houston to El Paso.

Dental plan? Yes, that's where I tell you to take two Tylenol and drink a pint of rum and the pain will go away.

You don't even want to know about the ASV medical plan.

I'm especially proud that Michelle Malkin has been recognizing Texas relief efforts and refering to local bloggers monitoring them instead of kicking to out-of-touch national outlets like the NYT and Washington Post.

I was at the DFW Hilton this weekend. The donations never stopped arriving. Volunteers everywhere. Our church is across the street, and it just filled up 60 apartments with donated furniture from the parishioners. They had to say "STOP, we have enough." We also fed over 700 people with a huge BBQ and pot luck sides.
Everyone of the evacuees I ran into were so grateful and were hopeful towards their future. Thanks for the pictures, Dave. Texas has stepped up to the plate and hit a home run, and I am proud of my state. One lady was singing "Deep in the Heart of Texas" on the news yesterday, and we must not let them down. We need to keep our efforts up long term, too.