Evacuees Staying Put and Tuned In

Most of the more than 1,500 evacuees in Tyler are staying put and heeding the warning not to test the highways, despite their desperate need to find out what has happened to their homes.
"We're really not hearing too much from what's going on down there," said Esquario Johnson of Newton.
Many of the 200 evacuees at First Baptist Church in Tyler were hoping to see just a glimpse on television of what was happening to their homes.
"I've been keeping up with the sheriff's office back home," Esqaurio. "They've been keeping us updated, whatever they can see. They really haven't had time to access everything."
Indoors and out of the whooping wind and rain, families passed the time with games, but were sure to stay tuned.
"I haven't had any chance of contacting anyone that can give us any information," said Pam Simms.
Pam is staying at the shelter with her husband and two grandchildren. She hoped the radar would show what was happening in her hometown of Bridge City.
"I'm seeing orange and yellow," Pam said of the radar. "I'm seeing a lot of Beaumont, but they haven't really keyed in on our particular area."
Some were frustrated they had not seen more images of the damage to the south.
"People want to see how it's looking over there and stuff like that," said Melissa Reynoso, "and they're not showing any pictures."
Volunteers said four families had left to venture back home. Emergency workers said simply, it's a bad idea. Most people were listening.
Some will be able to return home as early as Monday. Until then, they'll be sitting, watching and waiting.
"I guess the next couple of days we're going to try and go home," Esqaurio said, "and when the roads clear, see the situation and what's going on."

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com