9-2-05 - With at least 75,000 Hurricane Katrina refugees coming to Texas, Republican Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday declared an emergency disaster for the state, freeing up money to provide services for the storm victims.
"Hurricane Katrina, a disaster for our neighboring states, has created emergency conditions in Texas that will require all available resources of both federal and state governments to overcome," Perry said. "We will do all we can as a state and a people to help our neighbors to the east who have lost so much."
The governor had announced that along with the 23,000 people moving to the Astrodome in Houston from New Orleans, Dallas would host 25,000 at Reunion Arena and 25,000 refugees would relocate to a San Antonio warehouse at KellyUSA, a city-owned complex that once was home to an Air Force base.
However, after accepting more than 11,000 Hurricane Katrina refugees, officials said the Astrodome was full and began sending buses to other shelters in the Houston area Thursday night.
Buses that continued to arrive were being sent on to other shelters in the area and as far away as Huntsville, about an hour north of Houston.
The American Red Cross has opened about 20 other shelters, serving thousands seeking refuge in Austin, Beaumont, Lubbock and other Texas cities. The Lone Star state is a relatively close drive for Louisiana evacuees, many of whom headed into Texas on Interstate 10 and Interstate 20 before Katrina struck. Tens of thousands of survivors continued to fill hotel rooms across the state days after the storm.