Hurricane Katrina: UT Tyler Shelter Activated, Over 100 Evacuees Arrive
September 3, 2005

Evacuees arrive at UT Tyler by bus
UT Tyler and city of Tyler police assist evacuees as they depart from buses from New Orleans.

Evacuees are registered in the shelter as they enter the UT Tyler Fisch Convocation Center.

Two buses carrying approximately 120 Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans arrived at The University of Texas at Tyler Herrington Patriot Center around 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3.

Evacuees were moved through a general search of their belongings by the UT Tyler campus police and city of Tyler police departments. The National Guard and Tyler PD will be on site to help UT Tyler police with security.

Once inside the HPC’s Fisch Convocation Center, evacuees are being registered, given shower access and a meal. Volunteers from the Red Cross and Grace Community Church are assisting them.

“Right now we don’t expect any other buses tonight, but we may start to see more tomorrow,” said Laura Krantz of the Emergency Operation Center, which is responsible for activating the UT Tyler shelter.

The UT Tyler shelter can accommodate up to 240 people during the 30 days it will be open. EOC officials will use available space before opening additional shelters.

“The faculty, staff and students at UT Tyler are really pleased to help out in this calamity, and we intend to provide a safe and comfortable environment because the evacuees deserve some relief from what they’ve been going through,” said UT Tyler President Rodney H. Mabry.

The University will look at ways to create programs for children and activities for adults, as well as assist them in whatever their needs may be, whether it be job hunting or locating relatives, he added.

The UT Tyler special needs shelter, coordinated by the Smith County Public Health District, has not been activated at this time.

If necessary, the 20-bed nursing skills learning lab in the UT Tyler Braithwaite Building would be used to support low acuity medical needs of hurricane evacuees.

Volunteers sort and prepare donations for evacuees.

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