Louisiana family finds shelter in South Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Louisiana family finds shelter in South Georgia

August 29, 2005

Valdosta - Hurricane evacuees have driven from as far as Louisiana to ride out the storm in South Georgia. Many aren't sure when they'll be able to go home, or what they'll have left to return to.

The Farmer Family has spent most of their time in South Georgia watching an endless weather forecast. "That's all we're doing, all we're doing," said Gale Farmer.

They're weathering the storm at the Econo Lodge in Valdosta, and hoping Hurricane Katrina will spare their home in Slidell, Louisiana. "I know we got major wind, probably exceeding 100 miles per hour, so I'm expecting major damage there," said Gale.

"It's not good in the New Orleans area, its really getting bombarded now and Slidell's getting heavy, heavy rain and wind, it doesn't look good," said Chris Farmer.

Leaving home wasn't a hard decision for this family, but finding a safe place to stay was. Early Sunday morning, they headed to a relative's home in Florida. "We thought they'd only get heavy rain and wind damage," said Chris.

But just a few hours after they got there, they got more bad news. "They were making it mandatory that Perdido Key evacuate," said Chris.

So they started all over again, and drove until they found a hotel with a vacancy. "Some of the family spent 10 hours in a car, but 10 hours is worth your life," said Gale.

And although they're upset about what's happening back at home and unsure of when it'll be safe to return, they can rest easy knowing everything that really matters is out of harm's way.

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