Local Katrina Evacuees Still Adjusting, One Year Later

It's been almost a year since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region, and for many of the evacuees, the anniversary means reliving the trauma and loss they suffered. That's why the Northeast Texas MHMR Center and the Andrews Counseling Center hosted a survivor reception in Tyler tonight.

They wanted to let those who are still in East Texas know there is counseling available to help them get through emotional issues they are experiencing.

They also wanted to share ideas about how to commemorate the anniversary.

Esperenza Lee is one of the few evacuees who showed up.  She says in spite of the limited turn out, the event was something they all need.

"Just to talk about what's happened to them so far. Where they want to be. Where they want to go. What they're looking for now.  A lot of people do not want to go back home, but in the same breath, we have some people who do want to go home, but they have nothing to go home to," says Lee.

She is one of those people who is hoping to return to New Orleans eventually, but she doesn't think that will happen for another five years. Other families we spoke to say they plan on staying in East Texas.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com