Katrina survivor helping Gustav evacuees - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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Katrina survivor helping Gustav evacuees

A former hurricane Katrina evacuee in east Texas is doing what she can to help others who are fleeing from Louisiana and the path of hurricane Gustav. Former New Orleans resident Ada Wells has watched the news on Gustav, and has decided to do more than just hear about evacuees from New Orleans.

"You feel like, oh my God, not again how can those people go through it one more time, we decided to open up our home to folks that are going through the same thing we went through," Wells says.

3 years ago, Wells was a Katrina evacuee from Plaquemine parrish,  and knows what her former neighbors are going through.

"We had 5 children and 3 dogs between us and we headed to Kilgore and it took us 14 hours. I got knots in my stomach because I know what they went through and I have friends that are still there and have seen the destruction first hand,"  she says.

She's kept tabs on friends trying to escape the storm, and has opened her home to cook for and house as many as she can.

"When I came to Texas as a Katrina evacuee we stayed in a hotel for 12 weeks and one of the things that we missed most of all was home cooking, we'll have them sleeping on air mattresses or wherever we have to put them," Ada says.

As we were interviewing , one of the guests arrived from New Orleans,  and says the exodus is already hectic.

"You have a lot of people I see on the road last night driving in, they don't have an idea where they're going to go," says New Orleans evacuee Nada Cvitanovic.

Wells relocated to east Texas and is a teacher in the Kilgore school district,  but has never forgotten the experience that brought her here.

"I feel certain that the people of east Texas are going to open up their hearts and their homes again," says Wells.  

Bob Hallmark reporting/bhallmark@kltv.com

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