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Re: Katrina/ gas

Like many other cities around the US, Houston has opened up the city,  
literally, to all.  Lifeline helicopters and ambulances evacuated the  people out of 
hospitals to bring them here to our hospitals, especially  Childrens 
Hospital. Hotels have been filled to capacity, often housing  entire families in one 
room, however, the people were only prepared to stay  for a few days, and don't 
have the funds to stay for weeks or months in  hotels.   The Astrodome got 
bus loads of evacuees, were supposed to  get 25,000 only from the Superdome, but 
bus loads of others showed up.   Most churches are open, schools, and other 
facilities are becoming  shelters.  Several of the largest furniture retailers 
have emptied their  warehouses and put in beds, etc. to house emergency 
evacuees.  Schools are  open for the kids, and the city is trying to get people's 
bank accounts, social  security checks, etc. transfered so that the evacuees can 
gain access here in  Houston. Restaurants, hotels, stores are offerning major 
discounts to  evacuees.  Sports events and other places are giving away 
tickets to  give some type of activity to get their minds off the situation even 
for an  evening.  Counselors are on duty all over the city at shelters to  deal 
with the stress level.   Houston is grateful for the help they  recieved a few 
years back during Allison, when the city was flooded badly by the  45 inches 
of rain...it is the least Houston can do, knowing what it is  like.  However, 
the numbers of people are overwhelming, especially when  they say it will be 
months before they can go back to try to start over.   Everywhere you go here 
in Houston there are people from Louisiana, they are in  shock, their futures 
are so insecure, and their frustration is often quite  visible. 
Here in Houston, we have not experienced any significant increase in gas  
prices.  Prices rose 2 to 5 cents this week, as they have in past  weeks.  
Average about $2.50 per gal.   No shortages or lines at  all....not yet anyway.  
Georgia and eastern States are effected by the  pipeline that was shutdown that 
supplies the area, they said that it would be up  and running in days though.
I cannot imagine not being able to return to ones home for months.   The 
thing that most seemed to be amazing though, is the lack of  preparation.  One 
would think that FEMA, Homeland Security, etc. would be  more prepared for this 
type of thing....it is not like New Orleans hasn't known  this exact thing 
could happen. Combined....the fed. gov't. terrorism worst  case scenario 
preparations, and La. gov't preparations for this type of  event....would have had some 
type of plan in effect....if anything to protect  the levy system, get people 
evacuated, or at least get help in there in a more  timely manner.   
zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast
In a message dated 8/31/2005 7:08:52 PM Central Standard Time,  
gardenchat-owner@hort.net writes:

Do you  have long gas lines in your area? I was surprised to see people
lining up  at the gas stations when I went to run errands this afternoon.
Since 9/11  I've been trying to drive on the top half tank of gas. I'm glad
now. I  remember what it was like in the 70's.

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