Texas evacuees in Gulfport prepare for recovery efforts - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Texas evacuees in Gulfport prepare for recovery efforts

Texas evacuees in Gulfport stay glued to their smart phones looking for information about the devastation. (Photo source: WLOX) Texas evacuees in Gulfport stay glued to their smart phones looking for information about the devastation. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Texas evacuees at the Sleep Inn in Gulfport are glued to their smart phones. The worry about home is constant.

“At this point, everyone's numb,” said Carol Grubbs-Santiago of Biloxi. “It’s like, wow. I can’t believe this.”

Santiago was able to connect with around 40 relatives she has from Beaumont to Houston. All are safe, and some heeded her social media invitation to escape to the Coast.

“That was my post on Facebook to all of my Texas family members, that if you need to leave you have a place to come,” she said.

Bryanunique Reese evacuated Baytown with her two children, mother, and grandmother.

“Not knowing what’s going on back home is, of course, stressful,” Reese said. “But when we got here - it was a long drive - but a huge relief.”

So far, her plans sound simple, but are immensely complex.

“I guess, I’ll stay here for as long as we can and hope that we have somewhere to go back to.”

Sharing the experience with them is Gulfport native Kyzmi Harrison. Her current city of Rockport, Tx. was devastated. She evacuated with little but her family.

“Just me, my husband, my children. We each have two sets of clothes and that’s it,” said Harrison, who is receiving money for emergency housing from FEMA.

But, she and others haven’t been able to access the $500 critical need check from FEMA for things like food, diapers, and gasoline.

“We’re stuck,” Harrison said. “I would have loved to have gone home two days after the storm just to check on things," said Harrison. "It’s driving me bonkers thinking about what’s what.”

Santiago has established a bank account to help everyone find the resources they need. The account has been established at Navy Federal under the name Harvey Sleep In Account.

“We’re happy to just have them and see them and be here, but there are necessities while they’re here,” Santiago said. “They need to be able to get around, they need to be able to get back to where they came from.”

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