KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | Aggieland News

FEMA Hotel Frustration

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

It's a frustrating process.

"I was trying to see if ya'll have any FEMA rooms available for me," said a Galveston evacuee into her cell phone. "We do but we're sold out," replied a hotel clerk.

The extended family of 15 evacuated to the Brazos Valley from Galveston two days before Ike hit. Wednesday they were told they'd have to leave their College Station hotel, because rooms had been booked long ago by aggie fans.

"Because of a game that's going on tomorrow, we have been to different little shelters, they all are telling us they're full," said Latricia Hennigan, of Galveston.

"The general population shelter is pretty well maxed out," said Brazos County Emergency Management Coordinator. Frazier suggested folks affected by Aggie reservations register for FEMA, then check out their hotel list.

"Probably something closer to where they really need to be, closer to where they came from. Lots of them in the Houston area are accepting evacuees," said Frazier.

However, Wednesday afternoon, all the Houston hotels we called, were full.

"We have tried all of that. 150 miles going this way and that way there are no hotel rooms available," said Hennigan.

We did find rooms: some in Harlingen, a seven hour drive from Galveston, and sone in Dallas. However, the family says there are other issues.

"We ain't (sic) just traveling by ourselves, we've got somebody on oxygen and we've got to travel with him," said one evacuee.

Sylvester Bullard had to be hospitalized on the trip to the Brazos Valley from Galveston, because he stopped breathing. The family says he can't be off oxygen very long, and they can't afford to transport him by ambulance.

The 75-year-old wants to stick with family, and not stay in special needs shelter. Even if he could make the trip, the family says its an issue of cost.

"We don't have money for gas," said Hennigan.

"Thats one of those case by case bases we had talked about. We will work with those people. We have to know about them. They have to contact us instead of the news media and we can work with them," said Frazier.

Wednesday evening, the family did try to call the Emergency Operations Center, and wasn't able to get through.

Officials stress help is out there, it may just take some patience and persistence. Both of which could be understandably in short supply since Ike.


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