Evacuees Wait To Return Home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/26/05-Tyler

Evacuees Wait To Return Home

Louis Caldwell is a newlywed.

“It was a whirlwind romance I guess. January would be a year, would you believe? This coming January 10th ,” Caldwell said.

He and his wife Nikki live in Galveston. When the storm took aim at his house, they couldn’t agree on where to go. “We had a miss understanding, and I said, ’I'm going to the shelters or where ever they tell us to go.’

At the time, it was Huntsville, and she didn't want to go. She wanted to go with her mom,” he said. Louis came to Tyler, and Nikki went to Louisiana. She and her mom waited out the storm in a town near Sabine Pass. Louis hasn’t heard from her since.

The storms have passed, and smaller shelters in the area are starting to close. People who have been here days, sometimes weeks on-end are thinking about heading home.

Red Cross volunteers say their work here is not done, however. In fact, First Baptist Church is expecting to get ninety-seven new evacuees tonight.

Many of them, like Amber Fontenot, are just arriving because the storm made their house inhabitable. “W e went to the goodwill to see if we could get some clothes for the kids. They told us to come get a voucher, [from First Baptist] they could help us out,” Fontenot said. Her mother-in-law, Helen Myers, is a diabetic, has an enlarged heart and suffers from asthma. “I don't have an oxygen tank. I need to try and find one down here,” Myers said.

They won’t have power for at least another seven to ten days. The mounting cost of hotel, food and other necessities is starting to weigh on her mind. She is trying to stay positive because she doesn’t want her kids to worry. Fontenot said, “We'll have to just put on a strong front.”

Lindsay Wilcox, reporting. lwilcox@kltv.com

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