FEMA Evacuees Stuck in Shelters

Evacuees with medical or special needs will not be transported back home until the "medical infrastructure is in place to care for them," according to Cheryl Michelet, and there's no word yet on when that might be.

As for residents who evacuated on their own -- those who drove by car to stay with relatives or in hotels out of harm's way -- they are already streaming back to cities and towns throughout Louisiana, causing gridlock on many roads.

State officials continue to warn returning residents that services are far from back to normal. There are thousands of homes still without power in New Orleans and elsewhere, and the latest estimates are that only about 50 percent of the state will have power restored in the next nine days, a figure Gov. Bobby Jindal called "unacceptable."

There are long lines to get such basics as fuel for cars and generators. In Praireville, La., people waited in line for up to 3½ hours just to get some gas.

Still, for those camped out in shelters hundreds of miles from home, facing another night on a cot in a crowded room, no electricity sounds like no big deal -- they just want to go home.

"I'm not used to this. I just want to go home and sleep in my own bed. Have you heard anything new about when we can go home?" Michael Wise asked.

Of course, at the Hickory Hill shelter, there were a few contrarians who didn't seem to care one way or another about going home -- especially when home meant going back to school and leaving your two new best friends behind.

Seven-year-old Rondnell fled Gustav with her mom, dad, two sisters and a brother. Rondnell's dad patiently explained that going home meant sleeping in her own bed and eating home-cooked food for the first time in about a week, but Rondnell wasn't swayed one bit.

"I'm staying," she said flatly, and went back to coloring her book.

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