BEAUMONT, Texas — The Jefferson County Democratic Party hosted a press conference Monday, Sept 18, at the Jefferson County Sub-Courthouse, 525 Lakeshore Dr. in Port Arthur, to announce an initiative to locate Southeast Texans who were evacuated in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The press conference was hosted by Jefferson County Democratic Party chairman, Cade Bernsen and Michael Sinegal, Commissioner Precinct 3.
The local Democratic Party is creating a platform to help locate Jefferson County evacuees. People will be able to access the form at Jefferson County Evacuee Check In, or at jeffersondemocrats.com.
In the aftermath of the flooding by Harvey, many Jefferson County residents were saved from rising waters and taken to shelters. These people were taken from local shelters and sent around the state. Which raises important questions: How many people were taken? Where did they go? Who is keeping track of them? And how do we get them back home and put them in safe housing?
Bernsen said that approximately 3,000 to 4,000 people were flown out on military planes, and many more went out on buses. “The numbers are jaw dropping,” he said.
Five years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, an estimated 100,000 people had still not returned to the city. Many never did return. This initiative is aimed at not letting the same thing happen in Jefferson County.
The platform offers evacuees a place to check in. Information gathered will be used for the sole purpose of assisting county and city officials with the development of plans to return Jefferson County citizens to their home.
“We have to be committed to fighting for the life of our community,” Bernsen said.