“In survival mode”: How some evacuees are still dealing with the dual challenge of a hurricane and a recession

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Donald Bass Jr. and Susan Collier fled Hurricane Laura with $50 and haven't had enough money to get back home to Vidor. Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

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After fleeing her home in Vidor to escape a dangerous hurricane, Susan Collier sat in a hot camper trailer in Killeen on Friday with $4 to her name. Her family’s 2004 Lincoln Aviator sat outside with almost no gas.

Money has been tight for Collier, her two kids and her partner since the coronavirus pandemic’s economic wallop took away her job. But after Hurricane Laura struck the Gulf Coast as a deadly Category 4 storm, she was even more desperate. She missed her home 280 miles away, was sweating in 100-degree weather, and had just lunch meat and bread to feed her children.