Hurricane evacuees arrive in Chicago

August 31, 2008 9:10:36 PM PDT
Some people getting out of the path of Hurricane Gustav have come to Chicago. Two United Airlines flights from New Orleans landed at O'Hare airport Sunday night.

The Davis family evacuated for Hurricane Katrina three years ago. They got lucky living on the West Side of New Orleans last time and suffered only a damaged fence and a few shingles missing. With Hurricane Gustav, they don't know if they'll be so lucky.

"The idea that you're going to lose everything, it's really nerve-racking," Willie Davis said.

Maria Davis works for an airline and wanted stay in New Orleans as long as she could to help others get out of the city. She and her husband took the last flight out on her airline, and it happened to be headed to Chicago.

"i've got a lot of anxiety, just the fear of the unknown," she told ABC7 Chicago.

The New Orleans airport closed at 6 p.m. Sunday. So, those wanting to fly out had to get there early.

On one of the flights, volunteers from Calgary made a stop over in Chicago before going on to Canada. They were helping rebuild homes and schools still in need of repair from Katrina when they ad to evacuate for another hurricane.

"Iit was bizarre because a lot of people are just coming back in and rebuilding, and now they find themselves almost in the same situation as three years ago," New Orleans volunteer Cheryl McNiel said.

"I didn't want to leave some of the homes. I've become very possessive over the city," said Victoria McNiel-Taboika, also a volunteer.

Joy Terrell moved to New Orleans after Katrina. She's a school psychologist who found the students and faculty in need of support. Terrell is planning to stay with a friend in Chicago and to attend a planned conference. However, she is eager to get back to her school to help the students and staff deal with whatever Hurricane Gustav brings.

"I'm hoping they're supposed to reopen. So, I'm really hoping that will be the case," she said.

It was unclear Sunday night when evacuees could expect to be able to get a flight back to Louisiana or what they would find once they got home.


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