Red Cross shelter full of returning residents

October 2, 2008 11:30:37 AM PDT
A shelter in Galveston is getting fuller as more people who were evacuated to other parts of the state, return to the island.ROAD TO RECOVERY: How you can help | School closings | Person locator | Important phone numbers | Assistance from FEMA | Filing a claim | Latest power numbers

Since this shelter was set up just a few days ago at Alamo School, the Red Cross says they have been inundated with about 20 to 30 people stopping by the shelter every day looking for a missing relative.

There are currently about 700 people who are either staying at the shelter or who have at least checked in since returning from San Antonio. That's where the majority have been for last three weeks at one of the evacuation sites.

The Red Cross has been able to reconnect about 60 families and in most cases, we were told that they knew their loved one was sent to the San Antonio area.

There have also been several other cases where families had no idea where anyone went and unfortunately, personnel at the shelter has had the difficult task of telling them that the person they are looking for never checked into any evacuation site.

"What has been the biggest fear for people coming in and looking for folks?" we asked Patricia Morgan with the Red Cross.

"Well, it's, of course, something bad has happened to them, that they are not one of the survivors or that they have health problems and somehow have deteriorated and they may need hospitalization or something like that," she said.

Many families are coming to terms with the fact that they may be dealing with a situation in which the person that is missing may have not actually survived.

Recovery teams are on Crystal Beach today searching through debris looking for possible victims. They will then move onto Chambers County over the weekend.

Authorities fear that multiple bodies may be found because all of those homes that were destroyed on Crystal Beach, homes that people were staying in, blew some six miles away across the bay and ended up in Chambers County.

Many of the families are very frustrated that has taken nearly three weeks for any kind of recovery effort.

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