Extension for Katrina Evacuees in Hotels

By: Domonique Benn
By: Domonique Benn

January 26, 2006
It’s been nearly five months since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, sending evacuees across the country and in some cases, into hotels. In Augusta, about 30 evacuees remain at the Ramada Hotel. FEMA has extended another deadline, but the deadline to apply is coming.

Jeanette Wright has filed three extensions to continue staying here at the Ramada Inn. Now another deadline is coming.

“At first I use to panic and get all upset, but I said you know God you are in control and that’s where I have my peace at,” Wright said.

Jeanette has until February 7th to find her and her three boys a place to live. That’s unless FEMA approves her for a six-day extension, until February 13th. General Manager Pat Bates has been there since 500 evacuees originally came in.

“They keep getting extensions and we just try to keep working with that to try to best accommodate them,” Bates said.

Everyday Jeanette is searching for a place to live. But she admits she is choosy when it comes to raising her three boys in a suitable neighborhood.

“On the phone getting transportation to go look at the house then when you get there nice neighborhood is all slum down,” Wright said.

Now Jeanette is racing against the clock to find a place to call home or hope for another extension.

“In order to be extended they must contact FEMA and get approval from FEMA and that’s something they have to do on their own,” Bates said.

“I said God you gave me these three boys and I can’t bring them in any kind of neighborhood and this is a new life start for me and I said we need more time,” Wright said.

Again, Katrina evacuees must apply for an extension by Monday. If approved, FEMA will give an approval code in order to stay until the 13th.

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