500 Sheltered from Dolly in San Benito

500 sheltered from Dolly in San Benito
SAN BENITO - Some 500 South Texas residents fleeing Hurricane Dolly’s heavy rains and high winds are housed in this city’s hurricane shelter, with the number expected to climb throughout the morning.

“Once the winds and rain pick up as people awaken, we will see more people coming in,” said Emergency Management Coordinator Orlando Garcia. The National Weather Service is predicting continued heavy rains with accumulations ranging from six to 10 inches. At 5 a.m. maximum sustained winds were near 85 mph.

San Benito High School, at 450 South Oscar Williams Road, is the site for the shelter that is being staffed by the Texas State Guard, 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment. Personnel from the City Of San Benito, San Benito School District, both entities’ police and fire departments, and Pro-Medic EMS, along with the 12-member military contingent are serving as the shelter managing team. Capacity for the facility which includes the practice gymnasium and band hall, is about 900, Garcia said.

The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management sent the Texas State Guard to San Benito due to the high number of occupants seeking shelter from the hurricane.

“This is a state resource that was sent when they were notified of the high number of people housed in the shelter,” Garcia said.

The mayor opened the San Benito Emergency Operations Center at City Hall, 485 N. Sam Houston, on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Operations Center is staffed by city employees monitoring the storm. Among those onsite were Mayor Joe H. Hernandez, Commissioner Jack Garcia, City Manager Victor G. Trevino, as well as 15 city workers and Emergency Medical Technician Lorne Dilelio. San Benito residents may contact local Emergency Management officials at 956-361-EVAC or 956-361-3822.