The Newsroom    Published Thursday, Mar. 23, 2006, 3:08 PM
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Perry's disaster order questioned

Houston Chronicle (Internet / Print) 03/23/06 http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/3742458.html Coastal authorities say a regional hurricane evacuation plan mandated by Gov. Rick Perry should not take away local control from mayors and county judges. Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas had hoped a plan would already be in place, considering hurricane season begins June 1. The mayor, who called for a mandatory evacuation of the island as Hurricane Rita churned toward Galveston as a Category 4 storm, said city officials have been working on various fronts to prepare for this season. The city has an agreement with the Galveston school district to use school buses to help evacuate people, an agreement with the city of Austin to house evacuees and plans to bring generators by barge after the storm to use in the cleanup effort. The city also has a pact with the University of Texas Medical Branch to have medical personnel accompany evacuees on buses and even has assurances from Wal-Mart for the local store to open as soon as possible after the storm to provide food and other supplies.



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