Rita vs. Katrina - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

09/27/05 - Lufkin

Rita vs. Katrina

by Jessica Cervantez

"I don't know where to turn," Robert Williams of Port Arthur said.

He is not alone in looking for help.

Williams said, "I need some food, shelter, and clothes, because I've been having this on for a whole week."

East Texas city leaders are doing what they can to get assistance for both evacuees and local residents. Lufkin is housing both Katrina and Rita evacuees from the Gulf Coast. Many of the city's permanent residents are also dealing with storm damage.

Kenneth Williams, with the City of Lufkin, said, "Hurricane Rita event is different than the Katrina in that it directly affected us while we were sheltering people, and then hit by a hurricane. So, it presents a unique experience for us and problems for us to solve."

Lufkin is relying on federal and state support to help handle all the expenses. The Red Cross and Salvation Army are also here to help. Other agencies have also been called in.

Some small towns have already drained their resources helping storm victims. FEMA is promising government help for Rita evacuees, just like the assistance provided for those displaced by Katrina.

State Representative Jim McReynolds said, "We have been promised that FEMA will 100% refund whatever we use to sustain lives."

The City of Lufkin is planning to house storm evacuees for another two to three weeks, unless the state comes up with another plan.

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