In the confusion immediately following the hurricane, many survivors went to Ford Park's arena for shelter, food and medicine. Until recently, it had been a Hurricane Katrina evacuation center and a location for FEMA and other emergency aid group representatives. After Hurricane Rita, it became a command post for emergency workers and was not open as a public shelter as was reported on the radio.
Due to the constant flow of survivors to the location, authorities did eventually arrange for busses to take survivors to evacuation centers in other cities and allow the national guard and emergency workers to utilize the secure space more efficiently.
Photos by Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise
A cowboy boot and sports equipment are crushed and wet along a row of destroyed recreation trailers at the Gulf Coast RV Resort beside Ford Park in Beaumont on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2005.
A Blackhawk helicopter takes off from Ford Park in Beaumont. Authorities are using the area as a staging ground. Radio reports that the park was evacuating survivors to distant shelters on busses turned out to be wrong.
Ambulances from across the country stage outside Ford Park in Beaumont.
(Left) Carl Iles of Beaumont and Nicko, 3, his seeing-eye yellow Labrador retriever, wait to be evacuated from Ford Park in Beaumont. The park complex helped evacuate special needs survivors but was not operating as a shelter for all survivors.
(Below) Southeast Texas residents wait for triage at Ford Park in Beaumont. Special needs survivors were identified and evacuated.
(Right) Canyon Revia, 2 months, eats stew while his mother, Ashley Revia of Winnie, holds him at Ford Park in Beaumont. The family had tried get instructions from Chambers County officials, but had no luck. Consequently, they came to Beaumont for help.