Texas to consider new schools as shelter

Sept. 14, 2007 at 10:24 AM

HOUSTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Some new schools in Texas would be built strong enough to provide shelter during hurricanes under a bill to be considered by state lawmakers.

The bill by state Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston, proposed to follow Florida's lead in sheltering coastal residents quickly during a rapidly forming storm and giving inland residents an alternative to long-distance evacuations, The Houston Chronicle reported Friday.

The subject took on new urgency this week in Houston when Hurricane Humberto rapidly turned from a tropical depression into a Category 1 hurricane, the Chronicle reported.

Many in Houston want more shelters to avoid what happened nearly two years ago when residents fleeing Hurricane Rita clogged freeways and roads leaving the city,the newspaper said.

"If we, being good stewards, can provide that kind of assistance during an emergency, I think that would be beneficial to the entire city," Houston Independent School District Board President Manuel Rodriguez Jr., told the Chronicle

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