Stranded

By: Mike Tolbert
By: Mike Tolbert

Even though it may be more than a month before many Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Panama City can go back to their homes, some push on.

Jose Eguia of New Orleans, LA, says, "We're approximately five and a half hours from home, so the game plan is to get as close as possible as reasonable to the New Orleans area so that when and if the opportunity to get in, at least survey the damage, we'll have the opportunity to do it in a short time.”

Others don't know what they're going to do.

Debra Lacour of Harvey, LA, says, "We're trying to decide that right now. My husband's upstairs making phone calls."

Alphonso Houskins from Slidell, LA, adds, "Nobody knows what to do; I don't know whether to put my bags in the car or take them out."

Not to mention running out of options.

Tia Stigley of Waveland, MS, says, "I've got to find a cheaper hotel. I can't afford a hundred dollars a night."

It will be some time before residents can go back in their flooded neighborhoods.

This is a situation that may bring up hard feelings for longtime residents in Bay County. Panama City Beach residents were kept from their homes for several days by the National Guard after Hurricane Opal, but Hurricane Katrina evacuees may be away from home for much longer.

In these early days of the aftermath, many worry not about their homes but their families.

Rod Morris of Waveland, MS, says, "My in-laws stayed and the last I heard the water was to the ceiling and they had to get out of their house and that's all we know."

“We'll, I just have to hang around here I guess and see what's going on. We have a lot of family we haven't heard from and we're wondering about that we just hope and pray all we can do."


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