Christine Romans | BIO
The people who endured long bus rides to shelters far from home to escape Gustav are ready to go home.
But now they have to wait, and the patience is wearing thin. So is the food and the plumbing.
In Alexandria, Louisiana, local Red Cross volunteer Herb Boykin left the Coliseum shelter last night only to be called back to calm the evacuees.
'We almost had a riot here last night.'
The power failed, the plumbing backed up, and evacuees complained that the shelter was hot, wet and unsanitary. People on oxygen had to be evacuated to a hospital and several more had panic attacks.
Now, the waiting continues. Buses are idle in hotel parking lots. The drivers are waiting for word on when they can pick up the shelter residents and get them back to their parishes.
State officials say they have to clear roads and check bridges, then each parish must lift its evacuation order before the logistics of the trip home can begin.
That news not met with much happiness by some of the 1,076 people in the shelter in the Coliseum here. It is hot and damp. The toilets are backed up. And wherever we took our camera, a crowd of people followed asking what we knew about their parishes and when they could go home.
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