Eviction Day

February 13, 2006
Reported by Mika Highsmith

Hotel Evacuee Lisa Chretien says, "FEMA didn't extend me, so I'll move in with my daughter." It may not be ideal, but at least Chretien has somewhere to go. Chretien says, "I have to stay there from now until September. It's not easy moving from here to there. By the grace of God, I guess I'll make it. Too bad it will be hurricane season again by the time I move back home."

One time of the year Lisa and the other 79 families staying in the Best Suites Hotel, don't even want to think about, especially not on check out day. Best Suites Manager David Rothschild says, "We still have 20 rooms in house that need to check out, none of them have authorization numbers. So we're just asking for another form of payment, so we can get all this resolved. They're a few guest that are really frustrated, and we're just trying to help them. They're getting pretty upset, and I don't blame them."

Still hotel manager's like Rothschild are left in a sticky situation, going door to door to get people to check out. Rothschild says, "If they're in the room and they won't check out, I'm going to talk to FEMA to see if we can get them an authorization code. If FEMA says no you have to get them out, then I may have to call the local authorities." A plan of action, Rothschild hopes he doesn't have to take. Evacuees do have access to rental assistance for housing, but because of a local apartment shortage, they may have to use that money to stay in hotels.