Hurricane Evacuees Travel Home From Eau Claire

Concerns over Monday morning traffic have Alberto Rincon and his family hard-pressed to get out of town in a hurry.

A couple weeks ago, the traffic was the furthest thing from their minds.

"Four weeks without power, no drinking water, no hospital facilities," Rincon said of the situation in Beaumont, Texas. A direct hit from Hurricane Rita brought hard times.

"We decided to evacute, not because we read it somewhere or becuase someone told us 'just go' you have to make your mind."

As it turns out, neighbors in Beaumont were ordered out of town four hours after the Rincons left for Tennessee to stay with a cousin.

After a quick trip back to check out the damage, the family needed a "Plan-B."

"It was not about shelter anymore, it was about a home."

Eau Claire still feels like home for the family. They had lived here for more than four years, and old friends from the area had been calling anyway.

"They have an open invitation to come anytime they need to," said Carl Langgaard, "so they came up and stayed."

Help also came from neighbors around town who helped get the kids back into school, and threw parties for the family almost every night.

"I must have gained 10 pounds in the last week or so," Rincon said.

"I went through Hurricane Andrew, because I'm from Miami originally, so i knew what they were up against," Langgaard said.

Though the Rincon's house seems to have sustained little damage compared to some of their neighbors'. Good fortune to go along with the support Alberto had during his stay in Eau Claire.

"When we left, we didn't leave friends behind, we left family behind," he said.

Though this trip was kind of abrupt, and the drive home hurried, the family has plenty of great memories to last all the way back to Texas.


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