Evacuees Give Thanks To East Texas Hospitality

The Tyner family -- Charles; Stephanie; their 2-year-old daughter, Kailyn; and 10-week-old twins, Lauryn and Thomas -- they drove from Mandeville, LA and could not find a vacant hotel room until they got to East Texas.

"My mother-in-law called up and said she heard there was an opening in Tyler," Charles said. "And not hearing of Tyler, we're thinking, ok, small town, what's going to be going on."

But to their pleasant surprise, Tyler has had a lot to offer them.

"People are just coming up and offering everything -- rooms in their homes, you know," Stephanie.

When the Tyners got back to the hotel yesterday, they found toys, stuffed animals, household items -- all donated by East Texans.

"One, two, three. Right there," Stephanie said to Kailyn, as they played a game of Chutes and Ladders in their hotel room. "Now it's Mommy's turn to spin."

Not even a few minutes after we arrived in their hotel room, employees from the Smith County DA's office showed up. They had heard about this couple and their three kids.

The Tyners turned away some gifts so others who are more needy can use them.

"We have had confirmation that we do still have a home," Stephanie said. "You know, there is some extensive wind damage."

And from the Tyner family to you.

"I just really want everybody out here to know that y'all are some of the nicest people we've ever met in our lives," Charles said. "And if there's any place we could have ever been, I hate to say stuck, 'cause I don't like looking at it like that, this is the place."

Julie Tam, reporting. jtam@kltv.com