Some Hurricane Evacuees Start New Lives in Fort Worth

"Y'all are so friendly here," one victim says

Some of the last hurricane evacuees who are still in a Fort Worth shelter say they plan to stay because their old home is gone – and they like how people here have welcomed them.

"Fort Worth, you rock!" said Fagan Winn, who evacuated Port Arthur with his four children. "This is going to be my home. I'm staying here. I'm not going back to Port Arthur."

Winn's children are already enrolled in Fort Worth schools.

Amaria Woodsen, 11, said she already has made friends.

"I never even heard of Fort Worth, Texas," she said of her life before moving to the shelter at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center. "I miss my TV, my movies, my DVD player and my light up shoes."

But she added she looks forward to starting a new life in a new city.

The family was rescued from a third-floor apartment by boat and later flew on a military plane to Fort Worth.

"I'm just glad we got out safe,” Woodsen said.

Like many still at the shelter, they arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs -- and a positive attitude.

“Hey, I got all I need and then some,” said Sebrena Caddy, who also is from Port Arthur.

Caddy said she also plans to stay in Fort Worth.

"Y’all are so welcoming. Y'all are so friendly here," she said.

Winn said he is training for a new job as a forklift operator and is looking for a new apartment.

"I'd rather be back the way it was. But as far as going back to Port Arthur, me personally, it's not home anymore,” he said. “It's real tragic down there."

City spokesperson Whitney Rodriguez said plans are being made to close the shelter but no date has been set.

Fewer than 100 people remain, she said.

The city is working with charities to help the hurricane victims with permanent housing, she said.

Contact Us