Smiles Amid The Misery: Evacuees Head To Caldwell Zoo. - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

08/31/05-Tyler

Smiles Amid The Misery: Evacuees Head To Caldwell Zoo.

For the youngest evacuees -- the children -- this disaster can be hard to understand. Parents do the best to educate their kids, while shielding them from the most horrific scenes back home.

But Wednesday morning, joy, if but for a little while.

For these kids, it was like summer vacation never ended.

Their parents try to have fun and let the kids have their time, but they think about what's to come.

"All our family lives close together. It's not like we can rely on another family member. We don't have anything," says evacuee Dionne Lee.

Caldwell Zoo opened the gates to all evacuees, to have a chance to take their mind off the misery. All the while holding on to their cell phones for whatever they can hear.

One visitor received a call from a family member in southeast Louisiana. 

"We're just thankful to go that we made contact with some of our relatives, because we've been trying over and over."

When do they go back? It could be a long time.

"I think getting them away from there for a little while has helped because they were pretty cooped up for a little while," says evacuee Elizabeth Rydzewski.

For other families, they say may never go back after the storm, after experiencing the generosity of East Texans.

Caldwell Zoo admission will be free for all evacuees through at least the end of the week.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.

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