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Evacuees Seek Shelter At Bartlesville Church

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Mary Doucet and her family escaped the storm. They're taking refuge in Bartlesville. Mary Doucet and her family escaped the storm. They're taking refuge in Bartlesville.
A shelter has been setup at a Bartlesville church, East Cross United Methodist Church. A shelter has been setup at a Bartlesville church, East Cross United Methodist Church.
The kids have a place to burn off some energy. The kids have a place to burn off some energy.

One Louisiana family escaping the storm is taking refuge Monday night in Bartlesville. It's a circumstance and a place they've been before. As News On 6's Ashli Sims reports, 20 members of a Louisiana family are staying in what they call their home away from home.

They say they're in Bartlesville now because that is where they were welcomed three years ago.

It was just three years ago, when Katrina, then Rita ravaged the Gulf Coast, forcing Mary Doucet and her family from their southwest Louisiana homes.

"We were here in 2005 with Hurricane Rita and the Red Cross really helped us out then," said Mary Doucet, Louisiana evacuee.

Doucet's daughter's home was destroyed. They say it seems like, just after they put back what Rita took, Gustav came barreling in.

"And then when this came up, I told the kids, 'let's head to Oklahoma. They said they'll take us.' So that's why we came," said Doucet.

Doucet rounded up her daughter, son-in-law, and his family, the Fosters, 20 in all.

The Doucets and the Fosters were on the road for 16 hours, in a three car caravan. But, this time they were prepared with a barbecue pit and their dogs in tow.

"Last time we didn't know what we were in for, but this time we knew. So, we took our food out of the freezers. I mean we brought enough food for everybody to eat," said Doucet.

When they arrived at the shelter at East Cross United Methodist Church they saw some familiar faces.

"During Hurricane Rita I was on chapter staff and I met some of the family then. When I saw them, I recognized them and so it's been kind of a catch-up and 'how are things going' kind of a deal," said Chuck Kearns, Washington County Red Cross.

The kids have a place to burn off some energy. The adults have a place to un-wind. Mary Doucet says that's exactly why she chose to come back to the Sooner State.

"We chose Oklahoma because the people were really good to us last time. And I figured if we knew we were going to get help, Oklahoma would help us. Ya know, the Red Cross would help us," said Doucet.

Washington County's Red Cross says they aren't expecting any more evacuees. But, they'll stay open until the all-clear is given in Louisiana.

You'll find expanded coverage on Hurricane Gustav under the News tab at NewsOn6.com.

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