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.
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
Katrina Kids relief
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