San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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September 22nd, 2008
Shelter Closes, Evacuees Begin to Head Home

San Marcos emergency management workers closed the old Bowie Elementary school shelter for Hurricane Ike evacuees Friday, with the last 90 people either moving to area motels and hotels or heading home.In addition to shelter residents, an estimated 250 additional Hurricane Ike evacuees remained in San Marcos over the weekend while others headed back to their homes along the Texas coast to see what was left of their homes and lives after the September 13 Category 2 hurricane.

Most of the evacuees in San Marcos are from the Galveston area and are expected to leave by Tuesday.

“We are grateful for the outstanding efforts by our teams from the City of San Marcos, Hays County, San Marcos CISD, Gary Job Corps, Texas State University, social service agencies, medical professionals, and the Community Emergency Response Team volunteers as well as many other organizations,” said Mayor Susan Narvaiz.

“They have done an incredible job, working day and night to assist scores of evacuees who moved to the Bowie shelter a week ago from shelters in Austin. I am also proud of the outpouring of help from our citizens, churches, neighborhoods, businesses and schools that is making a terrible situation more bearable for people who have lost everything,” she said.

As the chief official for emergency operations in San Marcos, Mayor Narvaiz urged organizations to continue making donations to the Hays County Area Food Bank, local thrift stores, and to the American Red Cross/ Hays County to aid remaining evacuees.

Coastal Evacuees:
* Register for assistance with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (TTY for hearing impaired: 1-800-462-7585 or online at www.fema.gov .

* Register for Austin area (including San Marcos) shelter assistance by calling Shelter Hotline 1-512-972-1110.

* Information about American Red Cross services is available online at www.redcross.org

Donations:
* Contribute to the American Red Cross/Hays County so that donations may be directed to local emergency assistance efforts. Donations can be made at the City of San Marcos Utility Offices, 630 E. Hopkins and 1040 Highway 123.

* Donate food goods to the Hays County Area Food Bank, 220 Herndon Street, San Marcos, 78666, 392-8300, www.haysfoodbank.org .

* Donate clothes and other goods to Goodwill, Southside Community Center or other local thrift stores.

* Call the Volunteer/Donations Hotline at 667-7790 or email smeoc@ci.san-marcos.tx.us .

* Direct coastal evacuees who have not yet registered to the Shelter Hotline in Austin at 512-974-1110 (or in Austin, call 311). Evacuees must be registered by the Capital Area Shelter Hub Program before they can be admitted into a shelter.

* Donate dog and cat food and kitty litter to the San Marcos Animal Shelter, 750 River Road, San Marcos 393-8340.

“Our goal was to help evacuees find longer-term accommodations and to close the shelter as soon as possible,” said Ken Bell, Emergency Management Coordinator. “With the help of the entire team and the community, we achieved this goal.”

By MELISSA MILLECAM
Communications Director – City of San Marcos

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