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.
Texas Gulf Coast
In a message dated 8/31/2005 7:08:52 PM Central Standard Time,
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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