Hotel Assistance for Local Evacuees

9-30-05 - There’s some good news for Rita evacuees unable to go home. The Red Cross is now offering some financial relief.

The South Central Red Cross in Ardmore says there is about 75 to 100 Rita evacuees in the area, many of them staying hotels. Now the Red Cross is picking up part of their tab.

Word came down from the National Red Cross last night. They plan to pay for evacuees to stay in hotels for the next 30 days.

The Red Cross says the financial help isn't much right now but they hope to provide more by Monday. But for this Rita evacuee family staying at the Guest Inn in Ardmore, the small help is actually a huge weight off their shoulders.

Ten people have been sharing two rooms for almost a week.

Diana Carlton says, "Very grateful, we appreciate all the help everyone has done for us. You do get help, you just have to wait."

On Monday the local Red Cross chapter in Ardmore will help evacuees file for assistance in their office instead of calling the National Red Cross' 1-800 number.

The Red Cross will pay for hotel stays since last night. FEMA will help reimburse evacuees for nights before that. For information, call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362.