Open the dome (updated)
Banjo Jones has a really good idea how our community might help our friends and neighbors in New Orleans:
An unprecedented disaster calls for an unprecedented response.
That's why the Harris County Domed Stadium, known to most of the world as The Astrodome, should be opened up as a shelter for the people of Louisiana.
The air conditioners work, the toilets work and the roof doesn't leak. The same can't be said for the Louisiana Superdome, where estimates say up to 30,000 are living with no A.C., no working toilets and holes in the roof.
Fly 'em to Houston on C-130s. FEMA can help foot the expenses and Reliant Energy might be persuaded to provide free electricity to make up for price gouging California consumers during their energy crisis.
The rest of his post is here.
That sort of generosity would truly be world-class.
What do you say, Houston/Harris County leadership? Can we pull it off?
UPDATE: Question answered.
Chron.com is now reporting that the refugees from the Superdome will be bused over to the Astrodome:
As Army engineers struggled without success to plug New Orleans' breached levees with sandbags and water continued to rise, Texas officials have worked out a plan to bring more than 23,000 refugees from the Superdome to Houston's Astrodome.
The Houston Chronicle has learned refugees huddled in the Superdome — which had become a shelter of last resort for about 20,000 people — will be bused to the Astrodome in Houston under plans being put together by state and local officials, a spokeswoman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry said today.
Kathy Walt said Texas still hasn't received a formal request from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who also could be seeking alternatives to the Astrodome. But, Walt added, the Louisiana secretary of state requested Texas's help in a phone call late last night or early this morning.
Walt said arrangements were being made for more than 400 buses to transport the refugees, who have been without power or adequate sanitary facilities since the hurricane struck New Orleans on Monday.
Officials from both states and Harris County were discussing logistics in a conference call early this morning, Walt said. She said that the governor's office has been told the Astrodome's events schedule has been cleared through December.
Good. Let's make it happen, Houston and Texas.
UPDATE 2 (10:15 am): Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco has announced the plan to evacuate Superdome refugees to the Astrodome, thanking Texas Governor Rick Perry, Houston Mayor Bill White, and Harris County Judge Robert Eckels for their help (via the internet stream of Belo's New Orleans affiliate WWL-TV). Louisiana officials say the buses are now rolling.