Relief mixes with frustration as evacuees find safety in Houston

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The Independent US

"I guess we are glad to be here," said Wilder Luke, 44, who was riding at the front of a coach filled with New Orleans refugees.

Passengers toldhow they had been picked up earlier in the day from a New Orleans interstate highway.

Passengers like Bridget Bailey described waiting for help on the roof of the office where she worked. "The only thing left of my house is the roof. Everything else is underwater."

While there was some relief, there was anger also over their plight and the time it had taken to give them help. A young man at the back of the bus suddenly stands up and raises his voice, "You let the world know that there is no water where the white people live, it's only where the black people live," said Ahmad Philip. Another woman murmered in agreement: "There's no water on St Charles Avenue" (one of New Orleans' middle-class neighbourhoods).

At least better conditions were awaiting these passengers and these arriving here last night inside the Astradome. Red Cross officials distributed comfort kits with basic washing necessities to each evacuee, and every available inch of the main floor of the arena was taken up with camp beds, each with a neatly folded blanket.

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