Governor Surveys Damage in Brazoria County

Governor Rick Perry surveyed damage in Brazoria County today. Officials there say the county is getting its share of state resources, but could always use more. Laurie Johnson reports.
Governor Rick Perry flew over Freeport and Surfside before meeting with Brazoria County officials in Angleton. The governor reiterated the message local officials are sending: it's still not safe for evacuees to return home.

"I understand where folks are coming from by wanting to get back. But by coming back into an area that's not prepared for them, they're putting the first responders, they're putting the individuals who are there restoring power for instance, at unnecessary risk. They're taking resources away from people who really need those resources."

As for resources, Brazoria County Judge Joe King says the county is doing well compared to places like Galveston and Bolivar.

"Brazoria County could use more, but considering the circumstances, I think we're getting our share. I'm not going to ask for more than our share. I don't think it's fair to ask for more than our share. We're getting our share."

That said, the entire county has four points of distribution, or PODs, for food, ice and water. And the County's website reads: "The supplies for the PODs have been late in coming and lacking in number."

Governor Perry acknowledges people are frustrated, but says in disaster situations there's no way to adequately respond immediately.

"You can't get the resources to the people fast enough. You can't get enough resources to them. You can't get water and ice and food to people fast enough after a disaster. It's just — I mean it's almost physically impossible. I happen to think the state of Texas is the best at dealing with these disasters as there is in America."

Hurricane Ike impacted an area in Texas bigger than the state of New Jersey. 1.2 million people evacuated, including 12,500 with special needs. And Ike prompted the state's largest search and rescue operation on record.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.
Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...