Texas Shelters Filling With Katrina Refugees

9-1-05 - They lost their homes. Now some Hurricane Katrina survivors are losing their hotel rooms.

"We have nowhere to go. We're actually getting put out of here, and we're willing to pay to stay. It's just ridiculous," said Kim Bacchus, 39, part of a group of about 15 family members from New Orleans who were not allowed to book additional nights at a Super 8 Motel in Houston.

The shortage of hotel rooms for Katrina victims is igniting already short fuses and increasing the pressures of aid workers across Texas. Thousands of survivors sought refuge in the state after flooding forced evacuations in New Orleans.

The American Red Cross could not provide immediate information on the number of shelters open across Texas, but shelters were known to be open in Houston, Dallas, Austin and cities all along the Texas-Louisiana border.

People began arriving at Reunion Arena in downtown Dallas, where the city's Red Cross shelter operations were being consolidated, hours before it was ready to open Wednesday. Cots, blankets, feeding areas were being set up on the main floor of the former home of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks.