Thursday, September 01, 2005

Astrodome Closed

Breaking new from Houston...

Local news stations are reporting that the Houston Fire Marshal and the Red Cross have closed the Astrodome to new refugees, leaving busloads coming to Houston with no place to go.

There is no reasons currently being given, but there is speculation that someone died, that they have already run out of hot food (fruit is apparently still available), that they have simply run out of space, and that there are not enough volunteers to handle all the people (though lots of people have tried to volunteer).

Also, the original plan was to accept from 22,000 to 25,000 refugees but apparently only 10-11,000 are now there. But none of this is confirmed. But it seems certain that it is not nearly as many people as they had originally planned for.

Just more insult and injury for these people, and poor planning. People in Houston have been lining up outside the Astordome to donate food and time and have been turned away. I do think Red Cross officials had good intentions, but planning seems short sighted.

Also, I thought post 9/11 we had been planning for handling large scale disasters – it shouldn’t matter whether it is manmade or natural. Not very comforting. I know we can’t plan for everything, that nature has a way of throwing us curve balls, but still….

Update

At 12:26 AM, local Houston news is reporting that officials at the Astrodome are now at least letting in people from the buses currently on the grounds and outside the Astrodome (about 20-30 buses). No word on what will happen to refugees still coming from the Superdome. Information seems spotty.

Update 2

12:45 AM Over 100 buses waiting outside the Astrodome. Reports are that the Fire Marshal was overruled. Still no word on what they are doing about buses still coming from New Orleans.

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