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University, City and County prepare for Hurricane Ike

By Scott Harvey

The City of Commerce and Texas A&M University-Commerce are preparing to receive evacuees of Hurricane Ike.

Both Berry Hall on the A&M-Commerce campus and the Commerce Middle School are capable of housing up to 300 evacuees.

In an effort to promote safety for both the hurricane evacuee families, as well as Commerce students, staff and area residents, you're advised to direct all hurricane evacuees to Commerce Middle School. It is there that all evacuees can register with the Red Cross. Only those who register will receive benefits.

It is not recommended under any circumstances that you invite evacuees and their families into your home. Trained Red Cross staff will be on hand at the middle school to provide the necessary support and supplies.

Those wishing to provide help and support to hurricane evacuee families may contact the local Red Cross chapter at 903-455-7932.

As of early Friday morning, Hurricane Ike's maximum sustained wind speeds were measured at 105 mph, with the storm expected to increase in intensity as it travels through the Gulf and makes its way toward the coast.

According to the National Weather, Hurricane Ike is expected to make landfall as a category 3 or 4 hurricane Friday night. Evacuations along the Texas Coast began Thursday.

In addition to the University, the City of Commerce, and Hunt County Emergency Management teams are also taking precautions throughout the City and County for possible severe weather and flooding due to Hurricane Ike.