More Rita Evacuees Arrive In Longview

The exodus of Hurricane Rita evacuees continues to come to East Texas, with many suffering the same problems as Hurricane Katrina victims. As hurricane shelters close around Texas, more and more Rita evacuees are coming to East Texas. Another 120 Rita evacuees arrived at the Longview Red Cross shelter yesterday.

"As we have some come in, we have those that are leaving to try to go home as well, but we're staying busy absolutely," says Longview Red Cross worker Teresa Davis.

"Nobody knows anything except for just to wait and be patient, and see what happens next but it's hard for all these people in here because nobody knows anything. They're just waiting for someone to help them," says Angel Williams, a Newton County evacuee.

Shelter workers in Longview are doing all they can to keep up with relief efforts. These evacuees have had a particularly hard time. One man, Alan Barnes , escaped from New Orleans to Port Arthur, only to escape again.

"We were doing fine then here comes Rita. I've been moving like the circus." says Barnes.

An evacuee bus driver says a busload of evacuees was even turned away in Lufkin with no water and no food, from a church parking lot.

"The pastor of this church contacted police and demanded us off the property," said Joann Wheeler, a Port Authur transit driver.

The Red Cross says it's in need of supplies and volunteers to help with the new arrivals.

"Because it's going to be a while before some of these evacuees go back home, we're continuing to try to assist them take... any contributions, any volunteers would be appreciated," says Davis.

Between the Red Cross Center and the Expo Center, more than 600 people are now being housed at Maude Cobb. Donations of food and clothing are again being taken at the Red Cross Distribution Center on Judson Road.

Bob Hallmark reporting,