In response to the threat of Gustav, Lubbock is officially in a state of emergency. With a unanimous vote during an emergency City Council meeting this afternoon, the city is prepared to receive evacuees from the Gulf Coast when Hurricane Gustav hits.
In a disaster proclamation handed down by Governor Perry Thursday, Lubbock needs to be ready to care for as many as 800 evacuees. "The state of disaster is hereby declared for city of Lubbock, Texas," said Mayor Tom Martin.
Martin, along with the Lubbock City Council, allotted $500,000 of city general funds to house and care for up to 800 Gustav evacuees from the gulf coast. "One hundred percent of these funds will be reimbursed by the state of Texas," said Emergency Management Director, Kevin Overstreet.
Overstreet will lead the relief efforts here in Lubbock. "What's happening this very moment is that we're setting up an incident command post at the Civic Center and that's where we'll run the operation from," Overstreet said.
The 800 evacuees that could come to Lubbock will be housed in two locations. "We've designated the Coliseum as about 300 of those beds," said Overstreet. The other 500 will be housed at the Civic Center.
The city is closely tracking Gustav's path has it moves through the warm Gulf waters. "If it takes more of a left turn and heads to Texas then of course we're going to have a lot more devastation and we want to be ready for that," said Overstreet.
"I've been asked by some folks in the community, why should we be worried about people on the Texas coast who may be in harm's way of a natural disaster? My answer is very simple - we're all Americans, we're all Texans and we also have responsibility to our fellow human beings," said Mayor Martin.
The general consensus among officials is that it's not if evacuees will come, but when and how many.
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