Perry Issues Disaster Declaration Ahead of Gustav

Staff Report
The Associated Press

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry has issued a disaster declaration for 61 counties as Texas prepares for a possible brush with Tropical Storm Gustav.

Perry said Thursday that more than 5,000 guardsmen and other state resources are on standby in case the storm comes ashore along the Texas Coast.

Forecasters say Gustav, which has winds approaching hurricane force, could make landfall Tuesday anywhere from Texas to the Florida Panhandle.  In Beaumont, some residents were already preparing by filling up their tanks and stocking their pantries.

In Tyler, tourism officials say that most of the 2,200 hotel rooms in the East Texas city are full as Gulf Coast residents make plans to head north.