San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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September 11th, 2008
Shelters Opening in Austin, San Antonio

San Marcos to Open Reception Center Friday

The City of San Marcos will open the Activity Center as a Reception Center Friday at 10 a.m. for coastal evacuees and will continue supporting regional shelter services in Austin and San Antonio.

No shelters are opening in San Marcos. The Reception Center will offer a rest stop for evacuees, directions to shelters in Austin and San Antonio, information and comfort kits for travelers, said Ken Bell, Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of San Marcos.

The Activity Center is located at 501 E. Hopkins, San Marcos. The Reception Center will operate 24 hours a day starting at 10 a.m. Friday through the weekend, staffed by Parks and Recreation and Library employees. Some events at the Activity Center could be suspended to accommodate travelers.

San Marcos is a pass through area for evacuees who will find shelters in Austin and San Antonio. The City of San Marcos, along with county and state agencies, have posted highway signs along I-10, I-35 and Highway 80 and Highway 123 to direct travelers to shelters.

Very heavy traffic from the Houston -Galveston area is expected in San Marcos as people evacuate inland along I-10 to Highway 80, 123 and I-35 on the way to Austin and San Antonio and points west by way of Ranch Road 12.

Earlier Thursday, Mayor Susan Narvaiz urged residents to be prepared for the storm by monitoring storm information, making provisions to protect pets, and preparing a 3-day disaster supply kit for their families.

“Our City staff continues to prepare for possible impacts from Hurricane Ike,” said Mayor Susan Narvaiz. “We want our citizens to be prepared for the possibility of bad weather and feel confident in our City’s ability to care for our community in an emergency.”

The City of San Marcos is supporting state and regional emergency efforts with logistical support, communications, and traffic. Local staff is providing regional support for the Austin Emergency Operations Center.

Public Works crews will offer “courtesy patrols” to assist motorists who become stranded, run out of gas or need assistance.

All City of San Marcos public safety services, including Fire, Police and EMS are increasing patrols and staffing through the weekend.

Emergency Operations Coordinator Ken Bell and City departments have been gearing up all week to prepare for the storm. Bell has been participating in statewide emergency management conference calls coordinating statewide preparations for the storm.

Emergency information to date:

· San Marcos is NOT a designated shelter site for coastal evacuees, who will be directed to San Antonio and Austin.

· For shelter information for coastal evacuees, outside Austin call 512-974-1110; TTY number for hearing impaired is 512-972-9848.

· City of San Marcos has put up traffic message boards on Highway 80 and Highway 123 to direct storm evacuees to shelters in Austin and San Antonio.

· City of San Marcos, Hays County and other agencies are working together to respond to local flooding, power failures and damage from high winds as necessary in the San Marcos area.

Local emergency information is available in the following locations:

· Recorded information, 393-8488

· City web site: www.ci.san-marcos.tx.us

· Cable television: Time Warner Channel 10; Grande Channel 16.

· KLBJ Radio, AM 590

· If necessary, KTSW FM 89.9 will be used to broadcast emergency messages.

· Local and area media.

By MELISSA MILLECAM
Communications Director – City of San Marcos

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