Seven Red Cross Shelters Still Open In Lufkin

by Jessica Cervantez

There are still seven Red Cross shelters open in Lufkin, even more are operating independently. In all, Lufkin is still housing about a thousand evacuees.

A week and a half ago there were at least 12 Red Cross shelters open in Lufkin, housing 25-hundred evacuees. With one shelter closing Friday, there are now seven open.

Leroy Sedgwick, the assistant sheltering director for Red Cross, said, "The goal is to get people back home where they need to be, but so many of the areas are still devastated. Eventhough they have some things coming back on, they aren't ready to go back to their homes, so until they can do that, we need to help provide shelter and food for them."

There are still 130 evacuees in one shelter, 370 at the Pentecostal campground, a hundred in another. Overall, just under a thousand evacuees are still in Lufkin. The plan is to keep shelters open as long as they are needed, but they will start consolidating.

Sedgwick said, "We don't have any timeline established, we're waiting to see how many people can get back to their homes, and as they get low, we see if it serves them better to go to a different shelter, without overloading any shelter."

Joseph Narisse, a Beaumont resident, said, "It hasn't been crowded or nothing like a sardine in a can. If you want to use the restroom, you have room, they have been keeping it up, and keeping the kids quiet."

Narisse would rather be home. But the Beaumont resident has enjoyed staying at the campground. His stay here, won't be lasting much longer.

"I'm planning to head back on Sunday, I'm getting out of dodge city," Narisse said.