Houston sidestepping state in aid efforts

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">James Holmes of Spring, Texas, carries two containers of gasoline from a service station that opened in Spring, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008. Customers waited in line for over three hours to fill their cars or containers after the station used a generator to run the station&#39;s pumps. Hurricane Ike caused power outages throughout greater Houston area. &#40;AP Photo&#47;Houston Chronicle, Steve Campbell&#41;</span></div>
September 15, 2008 12:44:50 PM PDT
The City of Houston is taking things into their own hands, and working directly with FEMA on efforts to get aid to local residents.HURRICANE IKE: Watch live | Breaking news on Ike | Roadway incidents | Interactive tracking | Viewer photos of Ike | Doppler radar | During the storm | After the storm | Hurricane guide

Mayor Bill White just told ABC13's Miya Shay that they have cut out the state and are directly working with FEMA for the points of distribution for relief distribution. White said this was not part of the plan, but the state does not have the resources.

The original plan called for the State of Texas to distribute the FEMA supplies. Within minutes of Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff walking into an afternoon briefing Sunday, Mayor White and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett were told that the state was not equipped to distribute supplies. That's when Houston and Harris County mobilized thousands of their employees, something they were very willing to do.

"I really like this fact, at one point the state of Texas wasn't trying to hold on to some responsibility, but given the devastation of coastal areas, the state has limited resources," said Mayor White. "We're all members of the same team. If we can fill in and backfill for them, fine.

It is no secret that the Mayor is not happy with the state's response. Last night he was quite angry that the state did dumped the distribution of resources onto local officials and FEMA without warning.

Mayor White said the city will try to open more distribution sites. He added, "If we run out of supplies, we'll try to get more."

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