Hurricane evacuee plans future in Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Bus loads of people arrived at Central Station Friday to board an Amtrak train bound for the "Big Easy."

"I need to get home," said one evacuee.

At the same time, fellow evacuee Giles Gardner began planning his future in the "Bluff City."

"So, we're going to see what happens here," said Gardner.

He told us he is done evacuating whenever a severe storm threatens.  It disrupts his life every time.

"And I just want to make my home here in Memphis, Tennessee," said Gardner.  "Starting a new life," he added.

Gardner is from the the infamous lower 9th Ward of New Orleans.  He spent the last week sleeping in a mid-town FEMA shelter.  His afternoons have been spent hitting the streets in search of a new job similar to the one he had back home.

"Waiter and line cook," said Gardner.

Shelby County Emergency Management Director Bob Nations told Action News 5 it's a fairly common story.

"We heard that a lot in Katrina," said Nations.

That's when people realized that living along the Gulf Coast also means living in a state of flux whenever violent weather erupts.

"And so some people choose to relocate and start elsewhere," said Nations.  "And we welcome them and I think they'll find this a good place to do it," he added.

Giles Gardner hopes Hurricane Gustav was simply a blessing in disguise.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.