Refugees fill Memphis hotels - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Refugees fill Memphis hotels

Families running from Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi are now wandering the streets of Memphis, a sudden safe haven for people leaving nightmare scenarios and trying to keep morale up.

"At certain times, you get that emotional roller coaster of wondering where your house is and if it's going to be there and then you think well, we're safe and we got our whole crew and we're enjoying ourselves... Make the best of a bad situation," said Jack Sileo of New Orleans.

The Best Western in Memphis has been booked since morning, full of storm refugees.

"We're trying to make extra provisions for pets and stuff like that.  So of course, you can't leave your pets down there.  So we're trying to bend the rules just a little bit," a hotel manager told us.

All of the hotels in downtown Memphis are either full or nearing capacity.  In fact, many are now turning people away, sending them even farther from home in search of lodging.

"In fact I have family that was trying to come be by us and they couldn't get a room," said New Orleans resident Nicole Bonin.

Kevin Kern and his girlfriend had planned to get away when the forecast got ugly.  They nearly never made it.

"My girlfriend was able to get a car that she borrowed from a friend.  We got kind of lucky.  If it wasn't for that we'd probably be in the superdome by now," he said.

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