Louisiana family with 7 children who evacuated to Houston due to Laura forced to sleep in SUV

Family with 7 children who evacuated to Houston before Hurricane Laura forced to sleep in SUV

HOUSTON – A Louisiana family said they evacuated for Hurricane Laura only to end up living out of their vehicle in Houston.

“It’s pretty big but you can just imagine all of us in a vehicle like that,” said Dwayne Thomas.

Thomas, his wife and seven children are from Lake Charles. He said they spent three nights parked outside of a hotel in Houston.

They initially went to a different hotel for vouchers, but those were gone by the time the family arrived. They said they left their information with the American Red Cross and waited, but didn’t hear back.

Going back home wasn’t an option either.

“Even if we (were) to go back, we don’t have nothing to go back to, as far as like, a house, clothes, shoes. We don’t have nothing to go to,” Thomas said.

KPRC 2 contacted the American Red Cross and the state of Texas and stayed with the family as they spoke to both the group and the agency.

In the end, Thomas said the Red Cross will cover rooms for the night at the hotel where the family was parked. He said the family was also offered rooms in Dallas after that.

“I can breathe now a little bit better,” Thomas said. “I know that my kids going to have somewhere decent to sleep and to stay.”

On Wednesday, the Texas Division of Emergency Management announced a virtual shelter reception area where hurricane evacuees from Texas and Louisiana can call for help. The number is 1-888-991-5229.

So far, the state of Texas said it has provided more than 10,000 evacuees with more than 3,500 hotel rooms.