Gustav evacuees heading home

Thursday, September 4th 2008, 8:48 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The wait to return home is over for Hurricane Gustav evacuees. The last bus, carrying the remaing eveacuees staying in Oklahoma City, left Friday night.

Over 1700 people stayed in Oklahoma City during the storm. 

The first bus rolled out of Oklahoma just after 10:00 a.m. Thursday loaded with people anxious to get home.

One after another, the buses loaded up with nearly fifty people on each one.

"We supposed to be returning home today and I can't wait," Patricia Walker said.

Everyone wanted to be on board.

"There's so many people, they got to get them out. All we can do is wait, but we're packed and ready," Alfred Scott said.

The shelter couldn't put all 1700 evacuees on a bus at first. Emergency officials in Louisiana must give the OK first.

"That all depends on the state of Louisiana, who is coordinating and giving us info as to who can go back and at what time and what area," Sgt. Paco Balderrama said.

As soon as officials in Louisiana say a parish is safe, people who live there can head home.

Each evacuee received a care package to take on the 12 to 15 hour bus ride home that includes food and toys for the kids.

"I think it's important that the people have what they need to survive a long trip," said Kyla Rapp, who works for the American Red Cross.

Many people had to remain in Oklahoma City.

"We might have to stay here through Sunday," Corey Dolese said. "We've been here since Monday."

All many want is to get on a bus, heading for Louisiana.

"It sucks, because I want to go home. I'm tired of being here. I don't like this at all," Amanda Manning said.

There were enough buses to transport 1200 people, but only 1000 left on Thursday. The shelter was expected to stay open through the weekend.