Harvey Evacuees In N. Texas Shelters, Hotels Prepare For Next Step

DALLAS (CBS11) – Derrick Hayes of Houston left the Dallas mega-shelter on Tuesday after escaping Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters late last month.

While FEMA put him and his family up in a downtown hotel for 30 days, he said he attended a housing fair for evacuees Wednesday to find a more permanent place to live.

“I’m searching around for me and my family, trying to see what’s better for me and my family, trying to see what’s best,” said Hayes.

FEMA spokeswoman Rita Egan said a number of agencies are helping evacuees with their next step.

“FEMA, the state of Texas, and Housing and Urban and Development, other federal agencies and state agencies are working diligently to come up with a long-term program for housing,” said Egan.

Egan said the Hayes family may be eligible to have their hotel stay extended before they have to move out.

She recommends evacuees remain in contact with FEMA, especially if their situation changes.

The Red Cross says more than 2,000 evacuees remain registered to the three shelters in North Texas.

No word when the facilities will close.

As for Derrick Hayes and his family, they’re trying to figure out if they should start over in Dallas or try to return home to their apartment complex. “It’s kind of unknown right now because it was under-water.”

For now, he’s making the best of it, as he makes his third or fourth trip between his hotel and shelter to pick up supplies for his family. “Someone has to do it. It’s a good work-out. I haven’t rode a bike since I was younger. So it’s about time I get back to it.”

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