Archive for October 8th, 2008

Ike Evacuees

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Thousands escaping Hurricane Ike found shelter at Texas state parks. Sarah Loden has one family’s story.

In Texas, 63 state parks provided free camping for over 5,900 Hurricane Ike evacuees, including 300 that went to McKinney Falls State Park in Austin.

I think a lot of evacuees have been here before, just recreationally, and they recognized it as a place to come to get away from the bad situation at home.

David Shirley, Park Superintendent, takes me to the park’s campsites where the Waterburys, a family of six, cook a breakfast of sausage and eggs on a portable stove—an all too familiar scenario.

We lived in Orange, TX when Rita hit, Orange was really devastated over that hurricane. And since then we just, you know, got a little bit more prepared. Two weeks ago it was Gustav. We went to the state park in Dallas… well the storm came in and we had barely set up camp 24 hours and the storm was coming right at us. So I figured this time I’d go west. I can’t afford to lay up in a motel for 2 weeks.

Uncertainty about the future remains. In the meantime, they’ve found comforts at the state park… they wait to have back home.

It’s not bad camping out. Here at the state park we have water, we have electricity, we have safety. My kids love it, you know. They love being out here. We were talking about going home the day before yesterday and the little ones are just, “oh, we gotta leave.” It’s just they like it out here.

We have state park information at

Thanks Sarah… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.