Perry: Texas may be spared Dean's hit, but Texans should stay alert

Austin (AP) _ Governor Rick Perry says it appears Texas is going to avoid a direct hit from Hurricane Dean -- but people still need to be prepared.  The state continues to mobilize its response to a possible landfall by Dean, which appears to be heading for the Mexican Gulf Coast.

State emergency officials say they'll be watching for what Dean does once it reaches the warm waters of the gulf.  The American Red Cross says emergency workers who planned to assemble in Little Rock, Arkansas, in case Dean headed for Texas -- have been sent home.  The staging plans in Little Rock -- have been canceled.


Residents of about 2,000 evacuated homes in Abilene have been allowed to return and all streets re-opened as floodwaters began to subside.  A handful of houses and businesses were damaged by flooding caused when Elm Creek spilled from its banks after heavy rain from remnants of tropical storm Erin.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)