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Buses will take Hurricane Laura evacuees back home Friday, Austin says

Friday, August 28, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier, KUT

Some Hurricane Laura evacuees who came to the Austin area can return home, Central Texas officials said just after 4 p.m. Thursday.

Many evacuees in the area came from Galveston, which is no longer under a mandatory evacuation order. Evacuation mandates have also been lifted in other counties near the Gulf Coast including Hardin, Chambers and Jasper.

Officials say people who arrived in their own cars can head back after they register their party with hotel staff, a government official or the Red Cross. Those who arrived by bus will be returning Friday morning.

The Capital Area Shelter Hub says it is preparing longer-term shelter for those who are not able to return home. Evacuees can text “ATXShelter” to 888-777 to receive updates on sheltering in the Austin area.

The reception center at Circuit of the Americas is still operating. Officials say evacuees who are still seeking shelter in the area should go to COTA, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd.

The shelter hub, which is run by local governments, has housed about 3,000 evacuees in 21 hotels and the Austin Convention Center. Here’s how that breaks down by county:

  • Travis County: 795 hotel rooms and the Austin Convention Center
  • Williamson County: 197 hotel rooms
  • Hays County: 65 hotel rooms
  • Bell County: 35 hotel rooms

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT.

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