Apparently, there's been some confusion over the point-of-distribution (POD) sites and who is supposed to be in charge of them.
A federal official Monday described the Houston-area delay of distribution of food, ice and water in the wake of Hurricane Ike as a "hiccup" caused by weather and an unexpected state decision to have the Federal Emergency Management Agency take over distribution centers in the city.
"While we're talking hours of delay, that was the hiccup that caused it," FEMA spokesman Marty Bahamonde said of the fact that centers to disperse critical supplies did not open until late Sunday.
Texas Homeland Defense Director Steve McCraw said the state gave operations of the Houston food distribution centers to FEMA because the city was an area of "lesser impact" from the storm and because the federal agency was looking for a way to help. McCraw said the state had the personnel to run the centers if it had wanted.
"They asked if there was a way to help, and we said here's a way," McCraw said. "We're team players. We were glad to let it go."
McCraw said within 72 hours of the storm the state will be running 48 distribution centers in areas with far more destruction than Houston, such as Orange County. McCraw also noted the state is running 284 shelters with 37,000 evacuees.
"We're pushing food, water and ice to other locations," McCraw said. "We're not just doing MREs (meals ready to eat). We're doing canteen services."
Gov. Rick Perry, touring storm damage in Orange, downplayed the delays as anything other than a logistical struggle in the face of a major storm.
"We're working well with our federal counterparts," Perry said.
In the extended entry, I've got a list of POD locations that have come to me in email from the Joe Jaworski campaign and City Controller Annise Parker. They cover Harris, Galveston, and Brazoria Counties.
Meanwhile, HISD is out of school till at least next week.
HISD schools likely will not re-open for a week to 10 days because of Hurricane Ike, said Superintendent Abe Saavedra today.
"The electricity will be the major problem," he said while inspecting damage at the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Dickson and Shepherd. "Without the electricity, we can't check the mechanical systems."
HISD administators have discussed re-opening schools that suffered little or no damage. But they are worried that some students and teachers may be living in areas without electricity and may have trouble maintaining schedules.
As of today, the plan calls for opening all district schools on the same day, he said.
HISD administrators will be discussing with the Texas Education Agency how many days that have been missed because of the hurricane will have to made up. Saavedra said he suspects that the TEA will require some days to be made up and will waive the requirement for others.
We don't know yet if our return flight will actually get us back yet or not. The Dallas-Houston leg of the trip is scheduled to fly as of right now, but we'll be checking back with the airlines to confirm that. Here's hoping.
Date: September 15, 2008 Contact: Mark Seegers Subject: POD Sites Phone: 713-881-3034 JIC#
Announced POD Locations
The following locations are Points of Distribution (POD's) supplying ice, water and meals (MRE's) for residents.
The POD sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations: PLEASE NOTE THAT THE POD SITE FORMERLY LOCATED AT BAKER JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL, 9700 SPENCER HWY, LA PORTE IS NOW LOCATED AT SAN JACINTO COMMUNITY CENTER. HIGHLIGHTED BELOW. .
Old Kroger Location, FM 2920@HWY 249, Tomball .
Greenspoint Harvest Time Baptist Church, 17770 Imperial Valley .
Community of Faith, 1023 Pinemont .
Fountain of Praise, 13950 Hillcroft .
Texas Southern University, 3600 Rosewood at Scott .
Ripley House, 4410 Navigation .
Zion Lutheran, 3606 Beauchamp .
Jim Fonteno Courthouse Annex 14350 Wallisville, Channelview .
PAL Gym, 2910 E. Southmore, Pasadena .
New Life Fellowship Church, 2104 Underwood, La Porte .
San Jacinto Community Center, 604 Highland Woods, Highlands .
West Town Mall, 4100 Decker, Baytown .
Baytown Courthouse Annex, 701 West Baker, Baytown .
Windsor Village, 6000 Heatherbrook, .
Greater Jerusalem, 8901 Jensen . Raul C. Martinez Annex, 1001 S. Sgt. Macario Garcia .
Football Stadium, Center@San Augustine, Deer Park .
Second Baptist, 6400 Woodway .
Bay Area Community Center, 5002 NASA Road One, Seabrook
POD (Point of Distribution) Sites:
- Hitchcock High School -6625 FM 2004, Hitchcock, Texas 77563
- U. S. Post Office on Palmer Highway (FM 1764)at 11th. Ave. N. Texas
City, Texas 77590 (across from high school)
- McAdams Jr. High, 4007 Video Street, Dickinson, Texas 77539 (Note:
reports are that the trucks had not arrived as of 5 pm on Sunday)
- Centennial Park -220 S. Friendswood Drive, Friendswood, Texas 77546
- Galveston Island Community Center, 4700 Broadway, Galveston, Texas 77551
Evacuation Huddle Sites - Buses to come from Gulf Greyhound Park - To
- Bacliff Community Center, 4500 10th Street, Bacliff, Texas 77518
- Dickinson Senior Center, 2714 Highway 3, Dickinson, Texas 77539
- Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 10114 Highway 6, Hitchcock, Texas 77563
- La Marque High School, 300 Vauthier Road, La Marque, Texas 77568
- Ball High School, 4115 Avenue O, Galveston, Texas 77550
EMS Staging Locations - Two Units at Each Location:
- La Marque Fire Department, 1109 Bayou Road, La Marque, Texas 77568
- Dickinson Fire Department, 2716 Main Street, Dickinson, Texas 77539
- Santa Fe Fire/Rescue, 12506 Highway 6, Santa Fe, Texas 77510 409 925-7333
- Texas City Fire, 1721 25th Street North, Texas City, Texas 77590 409-643-5741
Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 15, 2008 to Hurricane Katrina
Point of Distribution (POD) will be established to serve Clute, Lake Jackson, and Richwood, Monday Morning at 9:00 AM, September 15. This POD will be located at the Kroger Center at the intersection of Dixie and Plantation Drives. Since the water supply for these cities is good, this POD will supply ICE, Water, and MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat). The POD will remain open as long as supplies last.
Other PODs are located in Angleton at the Recreation Center behind the Angleton Police Dept., in Freeport at the Freeport Police Dept., and in Brazoria at the Junior High School. These PODs will supply Ice, Water, and/or MREs.
Water, Ice, & Meals Ready to Eat - Are ready for the public at the Alvin ISD Transportation Center, 2780 SH 6 in Alvin until supplies last. Uncertain how late they are open, so you are advised to travel to the Alvin location during daylight hours.