Evacuees dealing with being away from their homes after chemical fire

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 6:41pm

Florence Scott is one of more than 250 in Port Allen and Erwinville who are now living in a hotel. They were evacuated after an explosion and fire at the Air Liquide chemical plant near their homes.

While they're antsy to get back to them as soon as possible, they want to return when the time is right.

"We understand it's unsafe to go back into the neighborhood. We don't want to put our lives in jeopardy or anybody else's lives in jeopardy and be selfish about about it, but we would like to go home,” stated Scott.

Others are happy about the change of scenery in some respects, even though it has made their lives difficult.

"We don't get to stay in a hotel often, so that's a little fun,” said evacuee Mark Schaeffer. “Actually, we were in the process of buying a car. I've had appointments for work that I've had to reschedule because I don't have clothes."

While they admire the work that everyone, from the Red Cross to law enforcement, has done to help them out, evacuees feel everyone was lucky that more people weren't hurt by the explosion that injured just one person on Monday.

"My main concern was we don't have a plan in place that of this should happen again,” said a worried Venita Walker. “What do we do? It could have been a whole lot worse than it was actually."

State police say they’re hoping to have everyone back in their homes by tomorrow morning.

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