Governor Perry Offers Comfort to Evacuees in Tyler

A word of encouragement and many thanks from Governor Rick Perry.  Those were the two reasons behind the Governor's visit to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the volunteers trying to make their stay a little more bearable.

He visited with hundreds of people at two Tyler shelters, both Green Acres and First Christian Church. But, what do you offer someone who's lost everything. Governor Perry kept it simple.

"We love you," Perry says. "We'll take care of you."

Tuesday afternoon the Governor brought his wife, Anita along to First Christian Church to get to know the people left homeless by the Hurricane.

He introduces himself to one family, "Rick Perry, nice to meet you. Hope everything is going well for you." Then the Governor jokes with one of the young family members, "I'm waiting for you. When are you going to eat that hot dog? You eat that. It's good for you."

For some evacuees, their interchanges with the Governor were more serious. They shared stories of loss. Vivian Biergalski asked the Governor for help. She still can't find her daughter or her brother.

"I just told him that we're really grateful for what they're doing here," says vivian. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't know what to do."

Governor Perry says it was important for him to also come and personally thank the East Texas volunteers who are caring for each and every evacuee.

"The response has been nothing less than miraculous," says Governor Perry. "I've never been prouder to be a Texan than over the last 5 days."

At the Green Acres shelter, the Perrys heard first-hand just how amazing Texas volunteers are.

"I had the kids and my husband got separated," says Tina Baudoin of New Orleans. "This couple got us back together. I didn't know Texans were so nice. Now I know."

The governor says his business is not done, though. Now he's looking at ways to get evacuees like Mrs. Baudoin temporary housing to help them transition back into the workforce.

Dana Dixon, reporting