by Kevin Allman
Sara Foley is both a Galveston Daily News reporter and an evacuee in a shelter set up in Austin's Crockett High School. It seems that her reporting on the situation there -- lack of planning, food, or preparation for the medically fragile -- has resulted in her being told to leave:
The Red Cross and Austin Independent School District have formally requested that I leave the shelter. At first, the Red Cross wasnt quite sure what to do about me, as both an evacuee and a member of the media....
A different police officer and a Galveston city employee warned me they were trying to kick me out, but when the officer escorted me over to the shelter personnel and they saw I had an evacuee wristband, they told me I could stay. Now, my editors have confirmed theres an official order for me to go.
As Im packing up, here are some last observations:
The hysterics of this morning seemed to have calmed down at the shelter, but the situation is no less organized. One Austin police officer I spent half an hour talking to told me there was zero planning.
I came here to provide security and Im running the place, he said.
When he came to report for duty here, he learned there was no command post, medical station or clear plan. He made a list of needed supplies water, soap, blankets and arranged for officers to solicit donations from area businesses.
Here's the story that seems to have gotten Foley 86ed:
Hungry, tired and confused evacuees complaining that no one prepared and no one is treating them well blame Galveston for delaying the evacuation and Austin for not preparing.
In the crowded hallway where they awaited their turn at breakfast, some became hysterical.
But the evacuees aren't the only ones complaining.
Galveston city employees were promised a private sleep area and food supply if they volunteered to help with the evacuation effort.
Instead, they worked through the night without food and didn't have a place to lie down. The gym floor was already full of sleeping evacuees and there was nowhere else for them to go.
Austin Police offices trying to calm hysterical evacuees didn't seem happy, either. One police officer walked up to two others who were trying to organize breakfast crowds.
"Any word about more officers?" one asked.
The second officer shook his head and a brief look of panic crossed their faces.