Katrina evacuees wait for word - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Katrina evacuees wait for word

August 31, 2005

Albany- Several families who can't return home to the Crescent City found a temporary home here in the Good Life City. Hundreds of miles from home with no word from family left behind, not knowing what's become of their homes, it's trying.

Twenty four members of the Osborne family arrived safely in Albany Monday after a harrowing 24 hour trek through wind and rain from New Orleans. As they watch the devastation on TV, they worry about the family they left behind.

"Anyone who has a 504 area code, there's no way to contact them," said Mary Ivy Osborne Saini of New Orleans.

Mary's still waiting to hear from her sister and her Aunt.

"A granddaughter, my son, my niece and nephews, everybody is worried about everybody else. It's not just them that they're worried about, they're concerned about everybody else and when they see stuff on television, everybody just breaks down," said Saini.

"I have a lot of family here, but I haven't spoken to my dad at all my dad or my sister, it's like I'm in the dark from the people I love, It's like you don't know if they're alive or okay or hurt," said 15 year old Von Osborne of New Orleans.

Looking at the devastating pictures of New Orleans is hard for both the young and the old.

"It's a horrible feeling, knowing that some people you know may be gone, knowing that you don't have a home to go back to," said 15 year old Breyonna Harris of New Orleans.

"You watch because your trying to see if you see anything that might calm a fear that you might see a face that you know or something of that nature, but with the magnitude of the devastation it's almost like your drugged and you're just there, stoic," said Saini.

Tommy Patton's family is also from just outside New Orleans and fear there is nothing left of their house. His wife Jane, and his stepchildren Brian and Michele also wait for any word.

"All we can do is watch the news and have faith and hope that the water, eventually they will fix the levy and the water will recede. We're so anxious to get back home so we can see what's left," said Tommy Patton of Chalmette, LA.

This tragedy has bonded these two families as they wait for the time they can return home or for any word from the family they left behind.

The Red Cross will help storm survivors try to track down relatives they can't locate. Hurricane evacuees here need to contact the southwest Georgia Red Cross chapter at 229-436-4845 to get put on that database.

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