Evacuees showing signs of frustration - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Evacuees showing signs of frustration

By Donna McCollum

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Thousands of displaced evacuees remain in shelters. In nacogdoches six shelters housing about 690 evacuees remain open. The shelters in schools are now closed, so classes can begin on Thursday. Some evacuees are now in different shelters. One more adjustment they're making.   Port Arthur evacuee Madalyn Yowman said,  " We've been shipped around. First we went to Lufkin, from Lufkin to Nacogdoches. We've been to two shelters. This one and one at the school which we appreciate. We thought we were going to Dallas. "  

Most evacuees have no news from home, no change of clothes, no hygiene items and are low on cash.    Port Arthur evacuee Cherry Johnson said,  " Right now we're in a situation. We're waiting to find out the results of when we can go back home and I don't know if that's going to be soon. "  Those in the shelter complain about curfews, no access to phones and little information about the outside world. One woman said she was denied ice or refrigeration for lactose free milk needed for health reasons. Another woman shook, a sympton from having numerous seizures. " The shelters vary in what they provide. The school was excellent, but this one is like a prison. I'm 50 years old and they treat me like a child. I know they have to have rules, but this is ridiculous," said Yowman.   Yowman said she finally got through to FEMA on her cell phone. She passed the phone around so other residents could talk to the operator on the other end.  

Shelter workers are asking for patience, but there are not many answers to the evacuees' questions.   Dan Weaver, a volunteer with the Certified Emergency Response Team, an affiliation with the Nacogdoches Police Department empathizes with the evacuees.  " I'm seeing familiar faces, some of the same people that I met, that came in from Gustav. I'm meeting some of the same people now again and that's got to be tough being moved back and forth and back and forth, "  said Weaver. He admitted they don't have the answers, but doing the best they can.  

There are reports that FEMA is making arrangements to house evacuees in hotel rooms. However, none of the evacuees knew of the plans.

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