By Jimmie Ferguson

Killeen Daily Herald

The stress level of one evacuee from the New Orleans area was so great Thursday that he was hospitalized, his sister-in-law in Killeen said.

He had a seizure right outside my door, said Killeens Carrie Richardson, referring to brother-in-law Darryl Russell, 37, who, along with his wife, Dianne Robinson Russell, traveled from the city of Kenner, La., to escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.

He is a little despondent, and he left his medications in Kenner, Richardson said. I tried to tell them a day or two ago that they needed to go to the Free Clinic to try to get their medications to prevent from getting sick.

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Richardson said her sister and her brother-in-law were at Metroplex Hospital.

They are my family, and I am here for them and they are going to be strong, Richardson said.

Richardson said she was glad that her family could get out of Kenner without being injured, even though it raised the occupancy in her one-bedroom apartment to 10 people.

I lived alone, but as to my family, I love them and am glad to see them here, said Richardson, 53. And Id rather see them here than in that devastating situation.

Richardson said she works every day. Therefore, shes not available to show her family around Killeen and take them places they need to go for employment and assistance.

All of them are adults, so they are trying to find something to do right now, she said.

The Russells arrived in Killeen around 6:45 a.m. Monday, along with their nephew, Cedric Burham, 19, and niece, Holly Smith, 18, after a 20-hour drive.

They said people were leaving New Orleans before Sunday, and I was trying to stick it out, Dianne Russell said. But when they said when Katrina hits, it was going be a (Category 5 storm), we knew then to leave. We started packing, gathered our family members and moved out.

In an interview earlier Thursday, the Russells said they were planning to make their home in Killeen and not return to Kenner, except for one reason.

On the news, they say it will be four months before we can go back there, said Dianne Russell, noting their town is near the Louis Armstrong International Airport. If we are working, there is no need to go back because it will never be the same. And by that time, we would have halfway established ourselves out here. So, why should we return?

When they can go back, the Russells said they will go see what can be salvaged in their home and move it to Killeen.

If we dont have an apartment by then, we will put it in storage until we get one, the wife said.

While they were in Kenner, both of the Russells worked at Dixie Web, a printing company.

On Thursday, they were at the Killeen Daily Herald completing applications for a job to work in the press room.

Contact Jimmie Ferguson at

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