Katrina Evacuees Fill Up Tallahassee Hotel Rooms

Many capital city hotels are booked and the Red Cross shelter is plenty busy as folks wait for a green light to go home.

Motel lobbies and parking lots are full of evacuees and full of stories of frustration and fear of what they'll find when they go home.

Chad Connors, an evacuee from Biloxi, says, "Before we left they told us to take a good look around because when you come back, you're not going to recognize anything."

Chad Connors from Biloxi has seen his flooded neighborhood on TV. He lives just blocks from that apartment complex where so many people died.

Chad says, "I just want to go back and see what, if anything, is still there."

Joe Johnson, an evacuee from Gulfport, MS, says, "We don't know about our home or anything. "

Joe Johnson of Gulfport, Mississippi is one of more than 80 evacuees staying at the Red Cross shelter on Thomasville Road. He and so many others are desperately dialing, but cannot get through to check on family members back home.

Joe says, "We don't know the conditions or anything about anyone back there. We're still trying to get through on cell phones."

Emergency officials are encouraging evacuees to stay put so folks from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana could be here for the rest of the week to wait and worry.

Ricky Sears, an evacuee from New Orleans, says, "It's driving us nuts. I just talked to my little wife, we've been married for 30 years, happily married, you know, and I was just telling her, we got each other (laughs) and that's a start."

Most hotels and motels in Tallahassee are booked for the Miami game this weekend. If evacuees don't head home first they may be forced to give up their hotel rooms to football fans. We'll keep you posted on that situation.


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