FEMA Grants Longview Evacuees Extension - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/9/06-Longview

FEMA Grants Longview Evacuees Extension

Evacuees in East Texas will get a little more time to stay in hotels. FEMA recently extended the deadline.

The word that FEMA has extended the financial aid deadline for Katrina victims, comes as welcome news to those staying in East Texas hotels, and to 20-year-old Dwayne Alexander. He's been in Longview since September.

"I guess you could say it was a heavy burden off my shoulders. I didn't have a home really to go back to. I came out here... nice people they look out for you, even when I ran out of money for my hotel room," said Alexander.

A handful remain in a half dozen Longview hotels like the Fairfield and Comfort Suites, and the extension has made a decision for Alexander, to start over here in east Texas.

"I just have to move on try to find a place of my own get back into school and work," he said.

And hotel managers breathed an equal sigh of relief for evacuees at FEMA news.

"We are very glad here at the Fairfield hotel that we were able to pitch in. It was very rewarding to be able to help them out in their time of need," said Longview Fairfield General Manager Andy Sweaks.

"Its good news I think more so for them ; we're glad they did extend it a little longer. It gives the evacuees a little more time, and definitely a lot more peace of mind, that they're no going to be out on the street," said Comfort Suites General Manager Aubrey Hubbard.

Dwayne was a college computer technology major in New Orleans, and says he has one priority now.

"Just do what I can , get back on my feet, work, whatever opportunity is theres where I'm trying to go," Alexander said.

For Alexander, the only tomorrow he has, is here in East Texas.

"Right now theres no plans for home cause there aint no home" said Alexander.

The FEMA extension of aid will cover those registered with the agency until march first. The agency has spent an estimated $529 million on evacuees in hotels.

Bob Hallmark reporting

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