The City of Lubbock is in a state of emergency as Gustav gets closer and closer to the Gulf Coast. Friday the Lubbock City Council unanimously decided to fund the operation to shelter as many as 800 evacuees. As of Friday evening, city officials say they are expecting 500 evacuees to arrive Sunday morning.
This isn't the first time Lubbock has had to take steps like these. In September 2005 the Hurricane Katrina relief effort was underway in Lubbock. Like now, the city was prepared for 800 gulf coast evacuees. Hundreds of people helped during that relief effort.
With a unanimous vote during an emergency meeting Friday afternoon, the Lubbock City Council approved $500,000 to help shelter the evacuees. That money will go to shelter the 800 evacuees that could come to Lubbock at two different shelters - one at the City Bank Coliseum where 300 people will be housed and another at the Civic Center an additional 500 will be sheltered.
"The city government, the county government and volunteer agencies will be activated and will be involved in planning and preparing appropriate shelters if we're called upon to house evacuees from hurricane Gustav," said Mayor Tom Martin.
Lubbock Director of Emergency Management, Kevin Overstreet says the city will employee around 100 people at the shelters and in the command post. "I don't suspect that we'll be getting anyone until maybe Monday, between Monday and Wednesday, but it all depends on the track of this storm," said Overstreet. But officials say 100 just isn't enough.
There are several ways you can help in the Gustav relief effort. The Red Cross is holding two shelter operations classes, Saturda and Sunday, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Red Cross Chapter Office on 19th Street across from Lubbock High School. To get signed up for those classes call the chapter office at 765-8534.
You can also give monetarily to the relief effort. Two local banks, American State Bank and Plains Capital Bank, are accepting donations at any branch.
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