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Louisiana Evacuees Make Dothan Home

By: Rhiana Huckins Email
By: Rhiana Huckins Email

Many evacuees came to Dothan to seek safety. For the most part, they are in high spirits. Some are out, exploring Dothan while others are trying to relax after a long, tiring drive.

"At the rest stops people think OK I’ll stop and use the restroom, but there is not gas and the bathroom was snaking around for a mile."
It was a difficult journey to safety, but Henry Green, his wife, and cousin made it to Dothan from Mandeville, Louisiana.

Traffic is one thing, but the stress of knowing your house may be damaged is another.

"Where I live, there are a lot of trees- oaks and pines and they sway back and forth during itty bitty storms, so I know something is going to fall on my house. so I’m not pleased about having to leave and come and have all sorts of vermin in my house along with water and property damage.” says Green.

Dothan residence inn hotel manager Monica Sadhwani has worked with hotels in New Orleans and has been through Katrina.

She has been supplying her guests with driving directions, hurricane tracking maps, and even coloring books for their children.

"Everyone here is aware of what can happen, and they just want to be together, they want to save their most important documents, have their pets and we were able to offer those things here and get those people together.” says Sadhwani

Dothan residents are also lending a helping hand to Louisiana visitors, making sure that their stay away from home is as comfortable as possible.

"We had a birthday party here and we called down to the hotel to give up our room. That’s the way we need to act- its better to give rather than receive." says Dothan resident Charlotte White, member of The Bethesda Apostolic Faith Temple.

And aside from sharing Louisiana residency, the evacuees have something else in common- comfort knowing that even though their property may not be safe, their family is.

“We are so lucky- when I evacuate, I take my puppies, and my wife and child with me and then I think about the house papers and flooding and all that stuff." Says Lloyd Bodenheiger, a Louisiana Evacuee

"Our home is in Mandeville, Louisiana and everything that is the most important to us is right here- our friends and our family." says evacuee Christina Pearson.

Most evacuees in Dothan are not sure when they are going to head back home; they will at least be staying here tonight.

A lot of them are getting to know each other and most hotels-- like the residence inn-- have socials planned to keep their minds from worrying.

It looks like those who had come to Dothan from Louisiana took advantage of hotel accommodations in the area.

Only 2 people showed up to an evacuee shelter that was set up at Wallace Community college in Dothan.

As of 4 p.m. Monday afternoon, both were closed and the Red Cross is redirecting those evacuees.

Classes will resume as scheduled Tuesday.


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