Skip to comments.Registry Attempts To Link Families Divided By Storm
Posted on 09/06/2005 4:05:23 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
TAMPA - The last contact Qiana Landry had with her mother was just after floodwaters began inundating her New Orleans neighborhood last week. ``I called her on the cell phone at 8:50 that night, and she said there was only a few inches of water,'' Landry said Monday sitting in a Tampa Red Cross center. ``I wanted to see if Davin got there yet.''
Davin Landry, Qiana's husband, waded through waist- high water for 10 blocks before he had to turn back halfway to his mother-in-law's house.
The water was rising quickly; a nearby levee had broken. He knew he couldn't make it any farther, Davin Landry said.
At 9:30, Qiana called her mother, Janice Searcy, again. This time there was no answer.
``There was no connection. Nothing,'' Qiana Landry said.
The couple eventually fled New Orleans with Davin Landry's family, ending up at his sister's Town 'N Country house in Tampa. On Monday morning, three generations of Landrys were at the Red Cross building on West Main Street, seeking help and trying to find Searcy and other relatives.
Coincidentally, the Red Cross rolled out a ``Family Links Registry'' Web site Monday designed to unite Hurricane Katrina's evacuees with relatives. About 200 families from the Tampa Bay area have posted the names of about 1,000 missing relatives on the site, said John Mitchell, director of Red Cross emergency services here.
The Web site can be accessed at www.redcross.org or by calling 1-877-LOVED1S (1-877-568-3317).
Callers are asked to check the list first. If the relatives they're seeking aren't on it, callers may add them and list their own names, too.
Most of the missing aren't casualties, Mitchell said. They just can't be reached because of power and telephone outages. Red Cross officials hope many will be found as they sign into large shelters such as the Astrodome in Houston.
Complicating matters is that at least five additional Web sites or links from Web sites have been created nationwide to locate Katrina evacuees. They are at www.msnbc.com, www.weather.com, www.first gov.gov, gov.gov,www.cnn.com and www.craigslist.com.
``We've been telling people to check all of them besides ours, because we're not sure if our names will be on theirs and vice versa,'' said David Webb, a volunteer fielding calls on Monday.
As of Sunday night, about 44,000 names were on the national Red Cross list, spokesman Tim Teahan said. He did not know how many people have been reunited.
The Tampa Red Cross office has set up a shelter for evacuees at the United Methodist Church in Tarpon Springs, Mitchell said. Thirteen evacuees have been placed there. An additional six families were sheltered in a Brandon hotel.
Dozens of evacuees continued to fill the Red Cross center on Monday. They included Alicia Phelps, 18, Mitchell Herrin, 20, and their infant daughter, Angelique.
The family fled their rental house in Waveland, Miss., on Aug. 28, before the storm hit.
Waveland is on a bay, and their house was built on stilts. It was washed away by a 26-foot storm surge, Phelps said.
``There's nothing left,'' she said.
Herrin, a Wal-Mart stockman, can't find his grandmother, Jenny Malley, and his uncle Paul Herrin. Malley lived nearby. The uncle lived in Slidell, La.
Reporter Lenny Savino can be reached at (813) 259-7567.
NOTE: It's not always easy to find the links leading to the lists of the missing after Hurricane Katrina that are being built on the Web.
Here is a guide:
B At www.redcross.org, click on ""Family Links Registry.''
B At www.msnbc.com, click on ""Looking for someone?'' or ""Tell them you are safe.''
B At www.weather.com, click on ""Desperately seeking...? Share info.''
B At www.firstgov.gov, click on ""Finding Loved Ones.''
B At www.cnn.com, click on ""Hotlines...Tell people you're safe.''""Join the safe list'' or ""Visit the help center.''
B At www.craigslist.com, click on ""Katrina Relief.''
Our people in Houston are working feverishly to get all the names of the Houston evacuees into a database but it will take a small amount otime to get it finished.
Thank you Houston!!
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