Longview evacuees grateful for shelter; city of Longview preparing for storm

In Longview, more than 800 evacuees are staying in shelters tonight, all while city and county leaders prepare for what could be heavy flooding. Today, KLTV 7 LaKecia Shockley talked to crews about how they are preparing for the storm, as well as evacuees who came here in search of dry land.

At the New Beginnings Baptist Church, this is now the temporary home for 191 Gustav evacuees.

And for Nicole Duncan and her family, it's a shelter home they almost didn't make it to.

"We was ready to turn around and go back home because everybody turing us away we didn't have anywhere to go so we finally came here," said Duncan, who is from Thibodaux, LA.

Nicole lost her first Thibodaux home in Hurricane Katrina. To make matters worse, her relative called her with more bad news.

"She had called and told me that we just lost everything. The whole roof just come off the house so I don't know what we gone do for now," said Duncan.

Alfonso Ruiz has been here at the shelter since Sunday. And although he needs help he's helping other evacuees in his own way.

"Families that were coming in didn't speak English. I translated for them. I helped them fill out the papers so FEMA can help them," said Ruiz, who is from Port Arthur, Texas.

New Beginnings is the largest evacuee shelter in Longview and thanks to the community they've been able to take in the most evacuees.

"Chick-Fil-A is donating Chic-Fil-A biscuits tomorrow moring for folks to eat breakfast. Whataburger is helping us out with breakfast and another day again. The Spring Hill schools are opening up their showers for us," said Pastor Tim of New Beginnings Baptist Church.

In preparations for Tuesday's heavy rain, Longview emergency officials are setting up several shelters for local residents whose homes could flood.

Those shelters are:

Spring Hill Junior High, 3101 Spring Hill Rd., Longview, TX

Pinewood Park Elementary, 200 W. Glenn St., Longview, TX

Sabine High School, 5424 FM 1252 W, Gladewater, TX

Gay Ave. Elementary, 100 W. Gay Ave, Gladewater, TX

"The shelters that we're making for local residents are short term ok...it will be a place that you can spend the night but it's not a place but it's not a place where you're going to have necessary shower facilities or feeding facilities," said Mayor John Bolster of Longview.

Longview and Gregg County are also prepared to set up barricades and monitor low line areas.

LaKecia Shockley, Reporting lshockley@kltv.com