Lawrence won't be a site for an emergency shelter for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina after all.
Paula Phillips, director of Douglas County Emergency Preparedness, told a group of public service and nonprofit leaders this morning to stop all planning efforts for a shelter. Phillips said she received word from state officials that the expected number of evacuees who would be transferred to Kansas was far less than the 4,230 maximum number of people the state had agreed to accept.
"We're done," Paula Phillips told a group of more than 50 public service and nonprofit leaders who had gathered for a second day to plan for a 250-person shelter that would have been located in Kansas University's Robinson Center.
Phillips had just gotten off the phone with state emergency management leaders who said Kansas was expected to receive only 500 evacuees on Monday, far fewer than the maximum of 4,230 people that Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said the state could take. Lawrence was slated to open a shelter only if the state received more evacuees than the 4,230 maximum. All of Monday's evacuees, which are from New Orleans, are scheduled to be housed in Wichita's Century II convention center.
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