PLEASE</> encourage evacuees to follow the staggered Safe Return Plan set up by the Governor's Office. Even if areas appear not to be flooded, critical infrastructure stability is still being assessed by local, state, and national authorities. Electricity is out in many areas, and although most of the water systems may be operational, the first priority is to have water available for fire suppression.
Sunday: Residents may return to communities west of I-45 and north of I-10, including residents of Tomball, The Woodlands, Waller, Hockley, Katy, Brookshire and surrounding communities.
Monday: Residents may return to communities west of SH 35 and south of I-10, including residents of Richmond, Stafford, Rosenberg, Sugarland, Pearland and surrounding communities, plus all Houston residents inside Loop I-610.
Tuesday: Residents may return to all remaining areas east of I-45 and north of I-10 up to the Liberty and Chamber county lines.
Gov. Rick Perry today announced that state and local leaders have developed a plan to stagger the return of more than 2.5 million Hurricane Rita evacuees over at least three days to ensure that the affected areas are safe, fuel supplies are adequate and traffic keeps moving.
“If you return today, we cannot guarantee enough fuel, we cannot guarantee safety along the roads because of debris and down power lines, and we cannot ensure a fast return,” Perry said.
The Governor called on all school districts in the affected areas to remain closed Monday to provide evacuees with adequate time for a safe and orderly return. Perry said the staggered plan also would provide emergency workers with enough time to assess damage and ensure that neighborhoods are safe. More in this News Release