by Jay Gormley

DESOTO (CBSDFW.COM) – Along the major interstates heading into Dallas, Gulf Coast residents may have found solace in a simple message. Electronic road-side signs are greeting evacuees with instructions to call 211 to find the nearest shelter.

Dozens of weary travelers from Louisiana have made their way to an American Red Cross shelter at Faith Bible Church in DeSoto. “A 16-hour drive is real tiresome,” explained an exhausted Dwanna Bell. Bell evacuated St. Bernard Parish before the storm arrived.

Nearly 50 evacuees had checked into the DeSoto shelter by early Wednesday evening. Most, if not all, still carry bad memories of Hurricane Katrina, which slammed into the Gulf Coast seven years ago today. “We lost a lot of people in Katrina. I didn’t want to take the chance of experiencing that again,” said Bell.

Kenyon Turner evacuated his home in Braithwaite, Louisiana. He left behind his house and his town which spent much of Wednesday underwater. “I ran home, packed my bags and got out of there,” recalled Turner. “I’ve been through Katrina. I’m not playing with another hurricane,” he added.

The shelter inside Faith Bible Church can hold up to 100 evacuees. Red Cross officials say they may very well approach that number by Thursday morning.