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Hurricane Brings Some Louisiana Residents to Springfield


Some people who have been displaced from their homes in Louisiana are finding refuge in the Ozarks. KSMU's Missy Shelton spoke with some of them at the Red Cross Disaster Services Center in Springfield.

When Hurricane Katrina barreled through southern parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, Mary Jo Nelton says her home just north of Lake Ponchatrain in Abita Springs withstood the wind and rain.

But in the aftermath, there was no electricity and no water.

She says it's miraculous that she made it to her sister's Springfield home and that many of her family members are safe.

Mary Jo Nelton says she wasn't able to reach some family members who decided to stay behind and ride out the storm.

Mary Jo Nelton came to the Springfield Red Cross to seek assistance.

She says it's heartening to see how much people are willing to help.

Having hurricane victims coming into the Red Cross in Springfield is something new.

Marisa DeClue is the public information officer for the Red Cross Disaster Services in Springfield.

DeClue says the Red Cross often does referrals for people in need, putting them in touch with local agencies like Crosslines and the Salvation Army.

DeClue says victims seeking aid from the Red Cross must show identification.

Among those from Louisiana seeking help at the Springfield Red Cross was Merilyn Sahuque.

Merilyn Sahuque has a son who lives in Springfield.

She says for now, she'll stay with him. But when she's ready to go back to Louisiana and collect what she can from her flooded home, she says she won't rebuild