Katrina: Local Evacuees Reflect

Victims of Hurricane Katrina

8-28-06 - Hundreds of Hurricane Katrina evacuees sought shelter in the Texoma area one year ago, but for some, it wasn't a happy ending. One family taken in by local generosity has yet to find steady work in the area.

Last September, we brought you a story of nine people who ended up in Grayson County thanks to a welcoming family from Luella. But the Rileys say the road to recovery has been just as hard here as anywhere.

Liz Riley’s daughters and grand children spent one week with Mike and Dedrea Higginbotham this time last year. She says she's grateful for their help. The family of nine was stuck in reunion arena with no where to go, and the Higgenbothams tried to help them find a better life in Grayson County. But Riley had no idea getting back on her feet would be this hard.

She lives in a Sherman apartment complex with her mother and one of her daughters but hasn't been able to find work, and her family is living day to day on disability.

Her family is still spread out between two states. Two of the daughters moved back to Houston earlier this year for the better job market. Liz Riley has similar plans, even considering moving back to Louisiana to be closer to home.