Many evacuees are making Memphis home - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Many evacuees are making Memphis home

Finding a home will no doubt help evacuees, but it could also help the Mid-South's economy.

Thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims have been here in the Mid-South for nearly three weeks. And they're starting to call Memphis "home."

Mario Guerrero spends his days trying to figure out how to get to Florida to see his baby girl.

"It's hard, you know, because, I thought everything - I had everything planned out and everything and it's like as soon as you start to lift up your head somebody knocks it back down again, you know?" said Guerrero, a hurricane victim.

Mario's sister Alexis tears up when she thinks about her grandmother's hand-written recipes, gone with everything else she owns in New Orleans.

This family is starting over - and, for now, they're starting over in the Mid-South.

They're not alone.

Louisiana license plates are easy to find in apartment communities, where immediate openings are scarce.

"We know that there's clearly going to be new Memphians, new Shelby County residents as a result of this situation," said Kevin Kane, with Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Kane also says the influx is good for Memphis.

The new residents run the professional gamut and our businesses are benefiting.

"From doctors, lawyers, architects, concert promoters, restaurant owners, hotel employees, virtually everybody that I have talked to in the service industry, they have hired someone from the affected area," said Kane.

Mario doesn't know where he'll work - he was on his way to college. Still, he's grateful for what he does have left - his family.

"I guess that's the only things I have to thank God for and you know, we have a place to stay, we're not homeless or nothing," said Guerrero.

Kevin Kane estimates two to three thousand families are relocating here. Those include a thousand displaced students enrolled in Mid-South schools.

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