Texas: Evacuations Minimized Rita's Impact

Early evacuations of the Texas Gulf Coast significantly reduced Hurricane Rita’s impact on the state’s livestock industry. According to the Texas Animal Health Commission, more than 10,000 head of livestock, mostly horses, were evacuated to designated shelter areas before the brunt of Hurricane Rita hit the Texas shores.

"Generally, the hurricane’s impact, at least for livestock, has been very little," said Bob Hillman, DVM, Texas state veterinarian. Hillman credits the early evacuation of the coastal region and the hurricane sharply turning eastward as the reason for minimized destruction.

"I’m sure we’ve lost some animals," Hillman said, "but because of the way the storm turned, it was nothing like what Louisiana saw."
Work to fully assess the range of damage in the hardest hit counties (Jefferson, Orange, Harrison, and Galveston) is currently underway.

"We have not been able to get personnel into the area yet for an assessment," Hillman said, "We are working on it as we speak."

According to Hillman, no rescue efforts for horses are considered necessary at this time. They will know more once they are able to get into the more heavily affected areas.

Most of the coastal areas are open, but lack running water and electricity. State officials urge resident who do not need to be in the affected counties to remain where they are until the clean up is completed.

About the Author

Chad Mendell

Chad Mendell is the former Managing Editor for TheHorse.com .

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