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I was just watching ABC 13 Houston and they said that there are 2 buses left to take people out of Galveston and that the local officials are worried. The local officials have asked the people of Galveston to get each other out. They said they could not bring the buses back, and it sounds like there are still people needing to get out.

They also said that there are NO SHELTERS in Galveston because there would be NO SAFE PLACE.

They also said that the local officials and the media are going to be staying at the San Louis Hotel behind the Seawall because it sits atop a bunker and is the safest place. They did say they may still leave though.

Three Questions:

  1. There are no shelters but they are not going to be busing people out of town any more? There are still 2 days.

  2. Why can't the San Louis Hotel be a shelter of last resort? Shouldn't there be someplace?

  3. Did anyone see this? It was on local Houston 13 ABC news around 5:45pm today.

Thanks, this really upsets me and if we can act on this we could prevent a tragedy.

Originally posted to sassy texan on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 03:49 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  there aren't even any school busses? (none)
    what about military vehicles? don't we have a cruise ship or two that we leased that could take a few?

    Give me Liberty or give me death!

    by guyermo on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 03:51:52 PM PDT

  •  also (none)
    I think they also said the city has 60 rooms rented at the San Louis for the officials and about 40 rooms for journalists. The engineer or architect of the building (not sure which) is so sure this building will hold that he is staying in it. This is the fanciest hotel in Galveston - by far.

    Rich people are renting rooms for the hotel in the safest place in town and there are no shelters for the poor people? We have got to stop this now.

    Did anyone else see this?

    First they came for MY choice...

    by sassy texan on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 03:52:00 PM PDT

    •  I've been wondering about this... (none)
      ...about the evacuation of poor folks from not just Galveston, but some of the other poor communities which I assume exist along or very near to the Texas coast.

      Since there are still a few days to go, I think it's great that you're paying attention to this issue - and it's something ALL of us need to be attentive to. If it looks like folks are being left behind it's up to all of us to demand that they be taken care of.

      No more Katrinas.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 03:55:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes (none)
        That's why I wrote this e. I want to prevent what we saw last time and figured if we can get pissed first and demand action then maybe something will happen. Is it impossible to get the people out who want to get out? Maybe it is. But damnit we have to pay attention to this.

        I cross posted this at My Left Wing BTW.

        First they came for MY choice...

        by sassy texan on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 04:01:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds reminiscent of the claims about (none)
      the Titanic. I think anyone who stays there is nuts.
  •  I thought that school buses (none)
    were the answer to all the evacuation problems. Isn't that what Hannity et al have been spewing for days?
  •  Trains? (none)
    Are there no train tracks near Galveston?   Why not pull a freight train in and load people on it.  I know that boxcars have a bad connotation but in an emergency ....   Take them toward the nearest military base and set up a tent city.  Or maybe Texas doesn't have trains.
    •  Galveston is an island (none)
      So I'm not sure that's all that feasible.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 04:04:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's why (none)
        we have rail bridges. And yes, I did just check.

        Where the fuck is FEMA? Oh, yeah, they're busy ignoring another catastrophe.

        Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. -Isaac Asimov

        by justme on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 04:12:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  FEMA's gone (none)
          See DarkSyde's earlier post on Recommended. FEMA pulled its eight staff out of Galveston earlier today.

          When the going gets tough, FEMA gets going....to higher ground. FEMA leads by example. Captainlaser

          The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true. J. Robert Oppenheimer

          by captainlaser on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 04:45:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  FEMA would move... (none)
            to a place where they could still operate if the storm hit.  This is just continuation of operation preparedness.  It doesn't (shouldn't) mean that they've abandoned their duties - simply means they've moved so they can continue to operate and manage this possible disaster.
      •  Galveston is a major port (none)
        and has been for over a century, so of course it's got rail connections to the mainland.
    •  not sure (none)
      There were train tracks running along the causeway - the bridge out of town. But they are building a new causeway on that spot I think so I don't know. The tracks have to still be there though right? I mean, you can't just stop train traffic. In fact, there are trains that go from Houston to Galveston for tourists! Damnit. Trains! You're right! Why are they not using the trains. That is a good idea.

      Sorry for thinking out loud.

      First they came for MY choice...

      by sassy texan on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 04:18:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They have two days, (none)
    you'd think they could fill up, drop off and be back to do it again in an hour or so. Or mabey get more fucking busses?

    "Just when they think they know the answer, I change the question!" R.Piper

    by McGirk SF on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 04:05:02 PM PDT

  •  If this thing hits as hard (none)
    as they say it may, and if it hits Corpus Christi or Galveston directly (w/ a strong hit on Houston), it may be a repeat of New Orleans in many ways.

    Houston is one of the nation's ten largest cities; much bigger than New Orleans.

    The disabled.

    The elderly.

    The poor.

    The infirm.

    Children.

    I worry we are going to see a repeat, and if it's a Cat5 it's going to be horrible.

    And half the Texas National Guard -- and their equipment -- are in Iraq.

  •  For what it's worth (4.00)
    The Houston Chronicle says:

    Although Galveston police don't plan to drag reluctant residents off the island, city officials reassured residents no one who wants to leave would be left behind. Sharon Strain, head of the Galveston Housing Authority, said anyone who can't make it to the buses would be picked up.

    "We've got more bus space than people and I'm not going to send them off empty,'' said City Manager Steve LeBlanc. "We are going to hold empty buses until the bitter end."

    They need to be held to that promise.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 04:13:29 PM PDT

  •  No place is safe in Galveston (none)
    because it is an island that will most likely be completely swamped with water. People need to get off the island and onto the mainland--that's all there is to it. The media are crazy to stay, but they are probably planning on leaving when things get worse. Here's some info about "the Great Hurricane of 1900." Granted, people did not have warning of the storm, and now there is a seawall, but Rita is a stronger storm and it seems to me the island is likely to be swamped. From the above link:

    The tide kept crashing farther inland, and the wind steadily increased. The Weather Bureau official in charge locally, Isaac M. Cline, drove a horse-drawn cart around low areas warning people to leave. Comparatively few people had evacuated the city, however, before bridges from Galveston Island to the mainland fell, and many people along the beach waited until too late to seek shelter in large buildings in a safer area downtown, away from the Gulf. Houses near the beach began falling first. The storm lifted debris from one row of buildings and hurled it against the next row until eventually two-thirds of the city, then the fourth largest in Texas, had been destroyed. People striving to make their way through wind and water to refuge were struck by hurtling bricks and lumber and sometimes decapitated by flying slate from roofs. The greatest wind velocity registered before the anemometer blew away at 5:15 P.M. was an average of eighty-four miles an hour for a five-minute period, but gusts of 100 miles an hour had been recorded, and weathermen's estimates later reached more than 120 miles an hour. About 6:30 P.M. a storm wave, sweeping ashore in advance of the hurricane's vortex, caused a sudden rise of four feet in water depth, and shortly afterward the entire city was underwater to a maximum depth of fifteen feet. This storm wave caused much of the damage. The lowest barometer reading was 28.44, recorded shortly after 7:00 P.M. Around 10:00 P.M. the tide began to fall slowly, and little damage occurred after that.

    I really don't understand why more government resources can't be gathered to evacuate people. I only hope and pray that the citizens of Galveston with cars do help their neighbors in need of transportation to evacuate, and I expect that they will.

    •  From what I've read (4.00)
      Cruising quickly Houston news sites, the city claims to have plans to evacuate everyone who wants to leave. But we need to make sure of 2 things:

      1. Those plans actually get carried out

      2. Something is done for those who for some odd reason choose to stay

      sassy's basically asking for confirmation that #1 is in fact happening, that things are being done that were promised. After Katrina it's essential that we watch very closely to see that governmental promises of aid are delivered.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 04:18:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  just saw Eugene's post above mine... (none)
    and I hope that there will in fact be such assistance "to the bitter end."
  •  Ah, shucks folks, screwing it again (none)
    In the words of Scott McClellan today:

    Q Has the President secured from the governors or other local officials the legal authority that we didn't have during Katrina, in order to take action? The President has indicated --

    MR. McCLELLAN: Well, let's keep in mind a couple of things. One, Katrina, as I said, was a storm that was one of the worst and largest in our nation's history, if not the worst and the largest. And the size of it was massive. It covered some 90 -- the devastation covered 90,000 square miles in that region.

    You had some unique challenges when you came to New Orleans. The landscape in New Orleans is different from what we're talking about in Texas. You have a major urban city in New Orleans that was below sea level, and you had challenges presented with the relatively small number of roads that go in and out of the city and the flooding that occurred.

    Remember, the initial storm was the hurricane, and the second storm for New Orleans was the flooding that came after the hurricane. So you have a different landscape that you're addressing in terms of Texas. And so I think you have to keep those things in perspective, as well.

    Is there no bottom to the spinning from this administration? Galveston has difference landscape than New Orleans...Galveston is in Texas. But unless someone has moved sea level, some of that seascape is going to look the same.

    We need to put this information to Austin and find out why Governor Perry cannot get enough transport into Galveston to get everyone out who wants to go.

    If you are in Austin, make a call. No excuses this time, Mr. Governor, you've had five days warning and you still have at least 24 hours to take action.

    The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true. J. Robert Oppenheimer

    by captainlaser on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 04:41:15 PM PDT

  •  update (none)
    The desk anchor just asked the reporter if there was talk of putting people on box cars to get them out and the reporter didn't know and said the city is working with the state - sounds like possible too many chefs with a bad plan that didn't work out. Geez.

    They also just found the last 2 buses, according to ABC 13 Houston. Seriously. geez.

    The problem is, there is no coverage that I know of of how many people want to get out that can't. They said the last 2 buses went to the community center, I think, but no coverage of that and how many are there.

    At the very least, let this be a record of the massive screw up before the disaster.

    First they came for MY choice...

    by sassy texan on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 04:49:19 PM PDT

  •  One of the reasons... (none)
    In Cuba, they survived a category 5 hurricane was because mandatory evacuation MEANT mandatory evacuation on the side of the island that the storm hit.

    Okokok... true, different gov't.  Yes, they used force - but they also provided transportation for ALL regardless.  Old, young, sick, infirmed, rich, poor.

    And the media should get the heck out of there if the hurricane heads that way and sustains those winds.  Mandatory evacuation applies to them as well.  Otherwise why should anyone who thinks it's a choice leave if they think others are being allowed?

    Looking at the various photos being put up as Rita hit the Keys, it does make me wonder if people feel like they should stay for the "thrill" of experiencing a "monster hurricane".  So they can have bragging rights (if they survive of course).

    I've been hearing that they're definitely evacuating nursing homes right now.  Which is good.  Who the heck cares if the storm turns off and doesn't hit after all.  Better safe than sorry.  If anything, one would hope we learned from Katrina!

    Hopefully in Galveston, local law enforcement has already affected a door to door canvassing of people.  Some cities have that 911 feature to call residents to effect emergency evacuations.  Not sure if Galveston has this in place?  In any case, check on your neighbors if anything!  If you have a way out, simply make sure they do, too.

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