Perry Orders to Fly Refugees to Other States

9-5-05 - With Texas shelters reaching their limit of refugees from Hurricane Katrina, Gov. Rick Perry launched plans to fly some of them to other states that have offered help.

With nearly a quarter million refugees already in Texas and more still pouring in, Perry said Sunday that Texas needs other states to help manage the growing crisis. Officials at Texas relief centers say they are simply running out of room.

"We want to make certain every evacuee has a safe haven where they can receive medical care, water, food and other assistance," Perry said. "There are shelters set up in other states that are sitting empty while thousands arrive in Texas by the day, if not the hour. We are doing everything we can to address the needs of evacuees as they arrive, but in order to meet this enormous need, we need help from other states."

Under the plan set up Sunday, aid centers will be established at airports in Houston and Dallas where incoming refugees can be given food, water and medical care before they are flown out.

The Texas National Guard will coordinate the air operation and the governor's office said that people should not just show up at an airport expecting to be transported. Perry said that American, Continental and Southwest Airlines, all of which are based in Texas, have agreed to lend their help.