NORTHWOOD, OHIO -- Storm refugees from the ravaged areas of Louisiana and Mississippi are going as far away as Ohio to escape the storm's destruction.
In Northwood, Fawn St. John welcomed several family members into her home. "My family just doubled. From a family of six to a family of 12. They can stay as long as they want to," said Fawn. Her father, Vern Rogers, led the family's charge out of the hurricane zone. "We were in from 125 to 195 mile per hour winds. Scary. The roof was coming off the house. Water was coming in every which way," said Vern.
Vern drove from Mississippi to pick up his daughter, her family and wife Elizabeth. Elizabeth was hospice bound suffering from lung cancer. "I figured they would have a better chance of surviving without me," said Elizabeth. But her nurses and daughter Roxann Trosclair disagreed. "The nurses urged us to take her," said Roxann.
So Elizabeth braved a 20+ hour ride to northwest Ohio in a pickup truck with four others. Her 22-hour supply of oxygen almost ran out as they approached Northwood. Hospice of Northwest Ohio provided Elizabeth with everything she needed here.
Elizabeth says Hurricane Katrina convinced her not to return to the place she called home for 30 years. "I want my family all up here where we originally come from," said Elizabeth.
The family could have to spend months in northwest Ohio until they sort out their futures and figure out what to do with property left behind in the hurricane zone.