Hurricane Ike Targets Texas, Texas State Parks Shelter Evacuees

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department reports that more than 5,000 evacuees from Hurricane Ike have been sheltered at more than 53 different parks throughout the state of Texas.  One Texas State Park in particular has hosted many more evacuees thatn the others and that is Garner State Park in North Uvalde County.  Garner State Park has long been a popular summer vacation spot for South Texans so when disaster struck many naturally headed in this direction.  Of the 2,000 evacuees at Garner State Park countless numbers are from the Houston and Galveston areas.  According to the park officials they started showing up on Wednesday and by late Thursday were arriving in droves.  Texas State Parks is extending free tent and RV or trailer camping to the evacuees many of whom were in tears as they gratefully accepted help from fellow Texans.  Park personnel worked diligently to help the evacuees settle in and divert themselves if just for a short time of the storm devastated region they will soon return to.  They swam and floated in 10 miles of the clear spring-fed Frio River, camped in the shady sites and on Saturday night 200-300 gathered at the park concession building to dance as the juke box cranked up for the first and only time since Labor Day Weekend.  Park officials report that people began to leave late Saturday for the return home as the storm had passed through the coast.  By Sunday maybe 500 or so were left.  Garner State Park is named for John Nance Garner of Unvalde, known as Cactus Jack.

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