Amarillo Civic Center Prepares for Gustav Evacuees

Evacuees fleeing from hurricane Gustav could be coming to Amarillo as early as tomorrow.

The city has set up a shelter at the Civic Center to house 500 people.

It was early this morning when the city participated in a conference call with state emergency personnel.

After they received word that hundreds of displaced people from east Texas and Louisiana would be coming to the Panhandle the Civic Center began buzzing with workers.

City employees worked throughout the day to set up the Civic Center so it will be able to house 500 people.

And their has been a lot to set-up.

"An evacuee dining facility, minor medical facility, shower, and other assistance areas for evacuee guests," said Amarillo Mayor Debra McCartt

One half of the North Exhibit Hall has been turned into the medical facility and Red Cross headquarters, the other half will be a play facility for kids.

The Regency Room will be the dinning facility for the evacuees.

And the South Exhibit Hall has seen cot, after cot, after cot, set up with sheets and a pillow.

"We hope that we can come in and give them some Amarillo hospitality and make them glad to be here in Amarillo," said Sharon Neil, a volunteer with the American Red Cross.

Starting today the Amarillo police department will have a presence 24 hours a day for as long as evacuees are at the Civic Center.