East Texas Couple Says Relative Refused To Evacuate To Avoid Katrina - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/1/05-Tyler

East Texas Couple Says Relative Refused To Evacuate To Avoid Katrina

Billie Smith and her husband, Larry, anxiously watch the news at home, hoping for some clue about the status of Billie's sister and brother-in-law in Pascagoula, Mississippi. "She says 'Oh honey we're not going to be able to get in the car and go down there because we're sick. We're just going to ride the storm out'," says Billie.
 
Those were the last words she received from her 76-year-old sister, Merlene Kelly, and her 83-year-old husband, Bill Both had back surgeries within the last year, and escaping the storm's rage would have been tough. "That street, Washington Street, that they live on, there was a picture of a girl sitting on the roof of a house, and it was off the ground," describes Billie.
 
As each day passes, phone service to the area is still down. And not knowing what has happened is the hardest part for Billie and her family to comprehend. "I've thought of everything. He's a retired naval person and he spent 20 years on a submarine and it's just...," says Billie holding back tears.  
 
"A lot of people have it a lot worse I assume than what we've got because most of them don't have anything. We just hope we still have Bill and Merlene," says Billie's husband, Larry holding his wife's hand. The Mississippi couple recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. While it's comforting to know they were together during the storm, Billie and Larry hope there's another celebration in the future when they're reunited. "We're just waiting and hoping that everything is going to turn out for the best," says Billie.

Billie says her niece was moving to Mississippi to help take care of the Merlene and Bill. She too has not heard from them since the storm.

We want to hear from more East Texans. If you have a loved one in the devastation that you're trying to get a hold of email us at katrina@kltv.com . Make sure you include your name and a phone number where you can be reached.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

  • NewsMore>>

  • BREAKING

    Suspect killed in Angelina County standoff with law enforcement

    Suspect killed in Angelina County standoff with law enforcement

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 6:21 AM EDT2017-04-25 10:21:50 GMT
    Source: KTRE staffSource: KTRE staff

    An hours-long standoff with law enforcement in Angelina County ended early Tuesday when the suspect was killed, according to sheriff's deputies.

    More >>

    An hours-long standoff with law enforcement in Angelina County ended early Tuesday when the suspect was killed, according to sheriff's deputies.

    More >>
  • Report: Peterson in talks with Saints

    Report: Peterson in talks with Saints

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 12:30 AM EDT2017-04-25 04:30:14 GMT
    Adrian Peterson is talking with the Saints.Adrian Peterson is talking with the Saints.

    East Texan Adrian Peterson is close to signing a new contract, but no deal is done. According to ESPN, the free agent running back is negotiating with the New Orleans Saints.

    More >>

    East Texan Adrian Peterson is close to signing a new contract, but no deal is done. According to ESPN, the free agent running back is negotiating with the New Orleans Saints.

    More >>
  • Former Aggies and Cowboys quarterback delivers message to FCA all-stars

    Former Aggies and Cowboys quarterback delivers message to FCA all-stars

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 12:24 AM EDT2017-04-25 04:24:21 GMT
    Stephen McGee was the featured speaker at the FCA tailgate.Stephen McGee was the featured speaker at the FCA tailgate.

    Numerous East Texas athletes and coaches enjoyed a night of fellowship at All Saints High School for the annual FCA Heart of a Champion tailgate. The softball, baseball, and football all-stars along with cheerleaders will take the field one last time in June for their respective games. Monday night though, the players were introduced and had the opportunity to hear from guest speak Stephen McGee.

    More >>

    Numerous East Texas athletes and coaches enjoyed a night of fellowship at All Saints High School for the annual FCA Heart of a Champion tailgate. The softball, baseball, and football all-stars along with cheerleaders will take the field one last time in June for their respective games. Monday night though, the players were introduced and had the opportunity to hear from guest speak Stephen McGee.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly