Refugees Finding An Alternative To Temporary Housing - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/31/05-Tyler

Refugees Finding An Alternative To Temporary Housing

Joe Burnhardt and his family tour what will be their homestead during an uncertain future. "This is the best thing we could come up with, we're going to live here. It could be months, years...who knows," says Joe after doing a last walk through of his new RV.

Eleven of Joe's family members will eat, sleep and shower in the RV. Meanwhile, their homes in Louisiana, abandoned in a see of water. Joe is one of several Louisiana families that descended on Tyler RV Center, where in the last two days, it received an unexpected demand for RVs from evacuees.

"They were real emotional. Which was really hard on us because we weren't expecting it at all and it was real emotional on us too," says Cherry Warren, Sales Associate for Tyler RV Center.

"We're waiting on them to let us come in and salvage what we have," says Joey Ceflau, referring to Louisiana officials giving residents the ok to return home. Joey and his parents live just west of New Orleans, but they too will not have an address to come to back too.

Making these RVs home is just a reminder to all these families, that having each other in uncertain times is priceless. "That's the main thing. We can rebuild but we can't get back a life," says Joe. Joey adds, "We feel fortunate right now we're in Texas and we're safe and we're not waist deep in water if not worse."

With the RVs, the families hope to slowly make their way back to Louisiana and stay at parks there until they receive word that it's safe to go to their homes.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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