Hurricane Katrina evacuees have been moved from the New Orleans Superdome to the Houston Astrodome – but then where do they go next? That is the question authorities are grappling with as the country gears up for what observers describe as the biggest ever resettlement operation in US history. Hundreds of thousands of evacuees have been transported across the American south. They will need shelter, food and medical facilities for an indefinite time.
One evacuee said: “I don’t know how long I can keep my sanity. I’m afraid for my own life. If I am missing there is no one to say that I’m missing. So it does hurt, but I’m trying to hold on.” This woman was just one of thousands separated from their families. While the future remains very uncertain for many, some have been lucky to be rehoused in neighbouring states. Catholic author and TV presenter, Raymond Arroyo, said strangers were opening up their homes to evacuees.
He said: “I found something on the other side of this horrible thing: there is that love that you feel from the rest of the country, and that will get many of these people through. It’s all we have right now.” There are also other signs of hope emerging from the misery. People in Mississippi cleared the floor of one shelter to help celebrate a wedding ceremony.