East Texans In Louisiana Shocked To Find Themselves In Katrina's Path

Some East Texas friends got a rude awakening when they realized the triathlon they were attending in Louisiana was in the direct path of Hurricane Katrina. These friends drove all the way to Louisiana, not realizing the raging storm was about to hit. Once they got there, it didn't take long for them to realize they had to evacuate fast! "You start to get a little tense and wondering if you're going to get out in time because it took us five or six hours to move five miles," says Tammy Michaelsen who drove through stop and go traffic back to East Texas.

Audrey Pongetti describes what is was like when traffic stopped, "People had gotten out of their cars, some people were afraid their cars were overheating. They had their pets and took them for a walk along the bridge."

Jeff Millslagle led their convoy back home, "It took a grand total of 19 1/2 hours [to drive back to Tyler]. The unique thing there was no wrecks along the way and no one got angry."

Getting gas was somewhat of a challenge they say. Many gas stations were closed because they had evacuated and other stations were running out of gas.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com