All of the Hurricane Rita evacuees have cleared out of Lubbock's shelters.
American Red Cross Chairman Greg Bruce and Mayor Pro-Tem Tom Martin, who both oversaw local shelter operations, hosted a live news conference from Reese Center, Tuesday afternoon. Bruce pointed out that this is the second time Lubbock has successfully responded to evacuees in their time of need.
"Today we are able to say we have successfully completed our second shelter operation for evacuees from hurricanes along the Texas Gulf Coast," Bruce said.
The conference preceded the final departure of Hurricane Rita evacuees from Lubbock. Since Sunday, Lubbock has been organizing transportation to return evacuees back to the Houston area. About 800 evacuees came to Lubbock last Thursday night to escape Hurricane Rita, that's double the amount that came to Lubbock earlier this month following Hurricane Katrina. Martin said Lubbock will step up to the plate again if it's ever needed in the future.
"Lubbock and the South Plains have stepped up one more time to help fellow citizens of Louisiana and Texas in their time of trouble. We all hope that these folks return speedily tonight to their homes, in this case Bay Town, Texas, and are able to re-establish their lives." Martin said.
He also thanked the thousands of volunteers who helped operate the shelters. Following the news conference, the remaining evacuees filed in to several charter buses. They are expected to reach their destination by Wednesday morning.
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