Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rain doesn't dampen fire danger concerns

By Leticia Juarez / 11 News
HOUSTON -- Tuesday's rain wasn't enough to dampen concerns about fire danger in the Houston area.

The lack of rain, low humidly and wind are keeping area firefighters very busy.

"We've seen a lot more grass fires this year than what we've seen in the past years," said Kenny Parker with the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department.

Cy-Fair firefighters have fought 22 grassfires this month, including three over the weekend.

One ignited within a few feet of some apartments.

"You can see the edges the leaves are so dry right now on all these shrubs," Parker said. "It doesn't take much, it doesn't take much heat, much fire to set it off."

This Pearland grass fire came dangerously close to a subdivsion on February 2.
Harris County's Commissioners Court Tuesday passed a 90-day burn ban for unincorporated areas of the county.

"It's precautionary and the idea is with the fire watches that we have, the red flag warnings, just the danger -- it's time to do this," said Harris County Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery.

Harris County joins 187 other Texas counties that have issued burn bans. The entire state is bone dry

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Search continues for missing woman

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Volunteers were on the ground Tuesday, hoping to find any clue that may bring Susana DeJesus home alive. It's been a little more than a week now since she was abducted at gunpoint in Pearland.

Volunteers don't have specific information that would lead them in any particular direction. With so much potential ground to cover between the area where the abduction happened and the area where DeJesus's vehicle was covered, they had to start somewhere.

By mid-morning, the Laura Recovery Center had its command center in place and the volunteers began to trickle in.

"I've been seeing it on TV and I'm retired and just wanted to help out," said volunteer Ken Malcom.

Malcom is among a handful of volunteers joining the search for DeJesus, who was abducted at gunpoint outside the clothing store where she worked. The 37-year-old has been missing now for a week.

"We're working off the edge of the roads, streets, byways, pathways, bayous, any place where she might have been dumped and abandoned," said Bob Walcutt with the Laura Recovery Center.

Volunteers huddled around organizers like players would do for their coach.

Armed with determination, the searchers soon found themselves scouring some thick brush near Tom Bass Park off Cullen Boulevard in south Harris County, a couple of miles from where DeJesus was abducted last Monday night. While searchers say it's like looking for a needle in a haystack, their initiative speaks volumes about the case and how the missing 37-year-old has touched so many lives.

"I just think it's important for the community to come together because you never know, it could be your sister, your brother, a neighbor," said volunteer Nellie Gonzalez. "I think it's nice that other people show they care."

The investigation into her abduction continues. Investigators say they're still poring over leads.

Your search begins here:

The Right People at the Right Time


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