Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - September 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Be glad you live here
Houston County Courier - September 2008
By Daphne Hereford
As most of you already know, I rarely write an editorial opinion, but in this instance it is absolutely necessary.
Be glad, very glad that you live in Houston County.
Our rapid recovery from the devastation caused by Hurricane Ike has been amazing.
As of Tuesday the county was pretty much back to life as usual. Stores were open, most power restored, Internet was up, water was running and the only remnants of the storm were the downed trees, repairs that needed doing and the general cleanup.
Not so for other places.
Three days after Ike's blistering blow there are many cities and counties, some adjacent to us, whose basic services had not been restored.
Some estimates suggest that many East Texas communities won’t be fully restored for up to three weeks.
Why did we fare so well?
Houston County was prepared for this disaster in every way imaginable.
Houston County Office of Emergency Management along with all of Houston County's officials and emergency personnel should be honored by Governor Rick Perry for not only having the most efficient plan for dealing with this disaster but executing it with the precision of a skilled surgeon.
As soon as Ike was forecast to head our way, under the direction of HCOEM, emergency personnel and elected officials leapt into action making sure residents were not only safe but cared for.
If you had the opportunity to listen to a police scanner during the trying times of Saturday-Monday, you would know that Houston County Sheriff's Office dispatchers were inundated with emergency calls in huge numbers and for days.
Firefighters from the county's 12 departments were called from location to location to deal with downed power lines, fires and other emergencies.
Crockett Police Department and Grapeland Police Department officers were dispatched to call after call constantly making sure residents were safe.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers were placed on 12-hour shifts and responded to the countless calls that flooded the airways.
Houston County Sheriff's Office deputies spread through the county responding to emergencies that included just about everything you could imagine.
ETMC EMS and Grapeland EMS personnel responded to hundreds of medical calls to assist people in distress and transport them to the hospital if necessary.
ETMC Crockett staff was there, ready to help patients who needed medical treatment.
First responders throughout the county were right there, Johnny-on-the-spot when needed and called upon.
TxDOT crews blew into the county as soon as the last band of the storm passed and started clearing roadways of the massive amount of debris left behind by Ike.
Late Saturday afternoon an army of Oncor trucks were escorted to Crockett by law enforcement to begin making repairs to restore power.
Houston County Electric Co-op workers hit the streets working around the clock making repairs.
On Sunday, huge trucks filled with water and ice raced toward the county bringing much needed supplies to those who needed it.
The Crockett Senior Citizens Center in Davy Crockett Memorial Park worked diligently