Days ago when Hurricane Katrina hit, Lubbock seemed an unlikely place for victims to seek shelter, but now dozens of refugees are calling Lubbock home and hundreds more are expected in the coming days. We spoke with a family of nearly 20 who arrived in Lubbock early Thursday morning. They're now staying with family members in one house.
Hurricane Katrina forced the Edward's and Neveaux's out of their New Orleans homes. They now only have each other, what little possessions they could grab and their prayers. They're thankful they're together staying with a brother and that they got out of Katrina's way.
That quest started when they tried to leave New Orleans Sunday afternoon. Hurricane refugee Angela Edwards says, "By the time night came, the storm was pretty much slapping us on the back of the head, the rain was coming, the wind." Angela Edward's family was stuck in traffic for four hours trying to escape Katrina. It got more difficult when they could not find a hotel. Angela says, "We tried from Lake Charles to Beaumont and we couldn't find a thing. We slept in a park with our children and my 75-year-old dad and all our animals."
They came here to stay with family after running out of money. Harold Edwards says, "We're all homeless. There's no home to go back to." Harold says the hardest thing is not being able to contact other family members. "We have family members and we have people we haven't heard from. We don't know who's dead, who's alive and who's not. It's just really a big nightmare. It's just, who would've thought? New Orleans under water...gone."
In the meantime they wonder how their children will go to school and how long nearly 20 people will stay in one house and how they'll have the means to do it.
For now they rely on their prayers and an old adage. Harold says, "You have to take each day like it's your last. We're blessed to be here. There are a lot of people that's still trapped under water, not living and they haven't found them yet."
This family is just one of the thousands that have lost everything. But the good news is they are getting some help. United Supermarkets gave them a gift certificate for $500 worth of groceries. Chili's also donated some gift certificates.
You can help any of the refugee families coming to Lubbock. The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross expect about up to 250 people. So they say what they need most right now is money. To make a donation, call the Salvation Army at (806) 765-9434 or the Red Cross at (806) 765-8534. Again, monetary donations are the biggest need but they're also accepting soap, blankets, and other hygiene products.
As more people arrive in Lubbock, they'll be moved to the Reese Center. Texas Tech is also discussing the possibility of housing some university students.
|Hurricane Katrina Special Section|