Local Emergency Officials Getting Ready as Dean Develops

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Emergency management officials in Brazos County are in talks with the state as Hurricane Dean approaches the Gulf of Mexico with an eye on Texas.

Friday afternoon, the Community Emergency Operations Center issued their first situation report on Dean, which as of that time, was a Category 3 hurricane moving to the south of Puerto Rico.

Sheltering scenarios are being discussed with the local Red Cross and Texas A&M University, with Bryan and College Station's school districts also in talks as backups if needed for shelters.

A pair of scenarios exist for the region. If Dean takes a path into South Texas or even Mexico, the Twin Cities would likely host special needs patients from the affected areas. However, if the storm goes north, evacuees from the Houston and Galveston area would be coming, much like in 2005.

"We've changed our shelter plans somewhat," said Chuck Frazier, Brazos County's emergency management coordinator. "We're going to try to open fewer, bigger shelters instead of more, small shelters, which is something we did in 2005. There's some changes and there's always some uncertainty, but we think we're ready. We'll deal with it. The people around here will deal with it. We'll be fine."

Twice daily conference calls are being conducted between local officials, the National Weather Service and the Governor's Division of Emergency Management in order to stay up to date with storm's potential affect.