More than 6,500 still in shelters in Louisiana, some leaving


Blue tarps cover houses in the aftermath of Hurricane Delta, Saturday Oct. 10, 2020, in Lake Charles, La. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — More than 6,500 people are still in temporary shelters after back-to-back hurricanes hit Louisiana, according to the state, but some are being told to leave.

The Department of Children and Family Services said about 6,430 people are in shelters because of Hurricane Laura’s strike on southwestern Louisiana, and more than 120 people are still out of their homes because of Hurricane Delta.

Some people are looking for new housing after being told to go home. Many evacuees from the Lake Charles area showed up at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans on Monday after receiving messages to leave hotels, WDSU-TV reported.

Morria Boyington from Westlake said she received a text message telling her to leave a hotel in New Orleans by Tuesday, yet she had nowhere to go.

“I have the info from my landlord saying the house is completely destroyed. Me and my kids have nowhere to go. Nowhere to go. We have no one to depend on. I refuse for my children to live in a car,” she said.

The American Red Cross said some people got notifications after assessments showed only minor damage to homes.

“The text messages residents received were to alert them that it is safe for them to return to their homes and to help them make arrangements to move forward on their recovery process,” the agency said in a statement.

The state said most people who were forced out by Laura but had only minor damage already have returned home. Remaining evacuees are spread out between 10 hotels in New Orleans and one each in Baton Rouge and Lafayette; a shelter in Alexandria and Texas, where more than 900 relocated.

Laura made landfall on the southwestern Louisiana coast with 150 mph (241 kph) winds in late August. Delta struck only a few miles away earlier this month.

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