A flood of Hurricane Katrina refugees have come into East Texas over the past two days trying to find a place to weather the storm. Hundreds of evacuees have had to hear the news that there are no vacancies at hotels from Marshall to Tyler.
"We've been getting phone calls off the wall for the past two, three, four days. We've got people waiting in our lobby area waiting for rooms to become available. I've got a waiting list that's two pages long," says Crystal Jackson, says the Hampton Inn customer representative.
Many are stacked up in hotel lobbies, watching the Weather Channel waiting for a possible cancellation. Those who have found rooms may only have them for a day or two then have to find other accommodations.
"Where are we going to find housing motels, hotels. This one here we're at, we're here for one night. We don't know where we'll be tomorrow night," says Tessie Grabert of Belchais, LA.
They're escaping the largest storm they've ever seen in their lifetimes. And many are wondering if anything will be left when Hurricane Katrina is done.
"Yeah, that's a big worry right now. We don't know what we're gonna find when we get home," says Emery Labove.
For many finding a place to sleep is no consolation.
"You'll sleep off and on tonight because it's supposed to hit around seven in the morning," says Rhoda Latino of Gretna, LA.
Many evacuees have been referred to Dallas hotels because of overcrowding in East Texas.
Bob Hallmark, reporting. firstname.lastname@example.org