Displaced family from Houston stranded in New Orleans; turned away at hotel

Harvey evacuees turned away at hotel

NEW ORLEANS- "You know, I thought if anybody would understand and sympathize with the situation, it would be the people here in New Orleans."

However, since coming to New Orleans, Jasmine has felt anything but sympathy or understanding.

Jasmine did not want her face shown or her last name published but told Eyewitness News she fled Houston Friday night.

"They came on the news and said you need to be prepared to be in  your house for five days at least, with or without power. And when they said that, I have an infant, and I knew that was just not an option," Jasmine said.

Jasmine, her fiance and 5- month-old baby boy evacuated, traveling east.

"I have family in Beaumont and we went to them, but now, they're flooded, so we just keep getting pushed further and further back," Jasmine said.

That's when she came to New Orleans.

"On the FEMA website, it says that there's a hotel list for evacuees and we thought we would be able to get a room," Jasmine said.

But instead, Jasmine says they were turned away.

"We came to downtown to the Embassy Suites and when we got here we were told basically that there's some issue with FEMA. They're backed up and they would not be able to accommodate us," Jasmine said.

Now Jasmine and her fiance are running low on cash. They've spent most of their money and don't know where to turn. With this taking place in New Orleans, she's devastated.

"They know how it feels to be displaced and to be out of your home. To not know if you have a home to go back to. And you know, Texas opened their arms to them. At that point, people didn't even have drivers licenses to show as proof of residency. But, you know, they just opened their arms to be shut out like that, it's really just heartbreaking," Jasmine said.

Eyewitness News spoke with FEMA. They tell us those looking for assistance need to sign up either on disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362). Jasmine says she got in touch with a FEMA official. She says right now her request for assistance is pending and was told it may take them a week to sort out her issue. Jasmine says, she cannot wait that long.

"I know for the FEMA representatives, they probably have hundreds of not thousands of people calling. And you know, requesting assistance. But those are human beings on the other end of that phone," Jasmine said.

Shortly after the story aired, Jasmine informed us that someone in New Orleans opened up their home to her. A woman also called the Eyewitness News newsroom and offered Jasmine and her family a place to stay in St. Bernard Parish.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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