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Harris County Officials were prepared for Gustav evacuees

NORTHEAST HARRIS COUNTY – Officials are preparing to receive evacuees from throughout the Gulf States during this week.

President George W. Bush on August 29 declared a state of emergency for Texas mobilizing the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, to coordinate disaster relief efforts resulting from Hurricane Gustav. Sixty-one counties including Nacogdoches, Shelby, Angelina, Orange, Jasper, Newton, Hardin, Tyler, Jefferson and Harris counties are included in the declaration.

That Friday, logistics for accommodating evacuees, were determined by Harris County and City of Houston Officials. Anticipated evacuations began early Sunday morning for evacuees needing transportation.

“Evacuees will be sheltered in several locations around the city and county. There are more than 15 sites with the ability to shelter about 1,400 people.” Dennis Engdahl, county emergency management coordinator, said.

It is expected that the evacuees will need clothing, toiletry items and bedding. Meanwhile, hotels across Northeast Texas are filling up.

In an alert faxed to members of the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association Friday afternoon, Justin R. Bragiel, deputy general counsel, said Texas officials expect an influx of 45,000 evacuees should Hurricane Gustav impact Louisiana and that lodging operators in a number of East Texas cities already were reporting they are booked “or near booked over” in anticipation of the storm.