Commerce – Local evacuees of Hurricane Ike are now one step closer to going home.
The City of Commerce and Texas A&M University-Commerce closed their shelters Friday afternoon, as approximately 165 evacuees were transported to a shelter in Addison.
A majority of the evacuees had been in Commerce since Saturday, where they were provided shelter at either the Commerce Middle School or Berry Hall on the A&M-Commerce campus. According to Commerce Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Harrison, one person actually gave birth to a baby girl during her stay.
Throughout the week and around the clock, assistance was provided by emergency management personnel from Commerce, Hunt County, the American Red Cross, as well as several other businesses and volunteers.
Both the City and University are now going through its recovery and cleanup phase. Like all other evacuee shelters, Commerce, in the near future will evaluate and review paper work to assess reimbursement costs, provided by FEMA.
In the span of only a few weeks, the city and university sheltered over 200 evacuees from Hurricane Ike and Gustav, while hundreds others stayed in area hotels.
Families remain spread out across the state and country, as emergency crews along the Gulf Coast continue to assess the damage. As of Sunday, about 1.2 million Texans were reported to still be without power due to Hurricane Ike.