More Evacuees Arrive In Tyler

Two more shelters have been opened in Tyler, bringing the total to four shelters now housing evacuees in the Tyler area. Three buses arrived at Green Acres Baptist Church, which opened today as an American Red Cross shelter. Many of the evacuees spent the last week in the Superdome and some didn't even know where they were when they stepped off the bus. The devastation in New Orleans is now even closer to the Tyler community.

"I don't even know where I'm at," said Joann Warner, New Orleans Evacuee. "They told us we were going to Dallas." This morning these New Orleans evacuees were in Dallas. Last night many of them were in Houston.

"We left New Orleans Friday morning, and we were like Moses riding around the desert with nowhere to go," said Victor Lewis, New Orleans Evacuee. Volunteers showed up all morning to help, but they say they had no idea what to expect.

"We weren't sure if we were going to have older people, younger people, if there were going to be kids," said Angela Childers, a volunteer.  Volunteers soon learned where many of the evacuees came from.

"We haven't had a bath since before the storm," said Warner. Stories from the evacuees at times were hard to listen to.

"Lots of hungry people and worried people, but they had so many that died around me," said Brent Crump, New Orleans evacuee. "Women were having babies and both of them died because we didn't have any first aid or none of that."

"I don't know who did it or nothing, but they raped a seven-year-old girl and killed her," said Warner. Some couldn't even put what they saw in words.

"I couldn't even imagine to even begin to tell you how it was," said Henry Jefferson, New Orleans evacuee. It was easy to see many are still in shock.

"I only saw this on tv, but I never thought it would happen to me," said Crump. Right now, the evacuees are just happy to be somewhere safe, and the volunteers are happy to help.

Two other buses went to Marvin Methodist Church today and one to First Christian Church. The American Red Cross had to open a fourth shelter tonight at UT Patriot Center. Two-hundred-and-fifty evacuees arrived there around 5:00 p.m.. The Red Cross says they are in desperate need of blankets and pillows for the evacuees there.

Molly Reuter, reporting.