Rows of cots lay empty at the City Bank Coliseum as the Hub City learns it will not receive Gustav evacuees on Monday. Lubbock also is no longer on standby to accept evacuees. Emergency management received word during a statewide conference call with the governor's Division of Emergency Management late Monday afternoon. However, that doesn't mean the cots will be put away.
Cots and pillows remain in perfect rows, as this shelter at the coliseum will not become home to those displaced by Gustav. But as more storms brew in the Atlantic, they could still be put to use.
"We're going to leave our cots where they are for now. We're not going to staff it, but we have several more tropical storms in the Atlantic and who knows where they going to go from here," Lubbock Emergency Management Director Kevin Overstreet said.
Overstreet says it could be days before the cots come down. While they are empty, some East Texas shelters are full with 40,000 to 50,000 people from Louisiana. Overstreet says depending on the damage the state may let some evacuees head home as early as Tuesday. "Take a look at all the damage that has occurred in Louisiana and if they can, they'll start filtering those folks back into Louisiana," Overstreet added.
Lubbock's Gustav preparations started nearly a week ago. While Overstreet says so far the city has spent less than $10,000, efforts like this could help save tax dollars in the end. "The state requires the City of Lubbock to do exercises every three years. This will count as one of our exercises and those exercises do cost a lot of money," Overstreet said.
It started out as preparation for the worst. However, come Monday evening Gustav became an exercise in communication, teamwork and the use of resources. All efforts that Overstreet says could one day help save lives right here on the South Plains.
"It continues to help us prepare our first responders in a way that we need them to respond to these kinds of situation," Overstreet said.
We are told volunteer turn out was extensive, as some 200 people signed up to help if Lubbock received evacuees.
|Lubbock Red Cross|