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Couple remembers Hurricane Rita
ORANGE - by Lauren Huet
Even though it's been eight years, Southeast Texans remember the panic and damage Hurricane Rita caused. About 2 million people evacuated ahead of the storm. Many returned to find their home damage or destroyed.
A couple in Orange found a silver lining in the storm. Wanda and Robert Trahan evacuated from Orange,Texas, to De Ridder, Louisiana, just before Rita hit.
Mrs. Trahan said they stayed the night in a church camp. "That night when the storm came through we could hear pine trees popping and snapping," said Mrs. Trahan. "So the next morning when we woke up, we seen pine trees everywhere. We didn't know what was going on. I'd never experienced anything like that."
They returned to their home of 16 years to find it damaged. Like so many others, they applied to the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission for help. The Commission not only accepted their application, but offered to replace their home.
"It's hard to explain how could somebody give you something- that you -you know, you just don't understand it. And it's wonderful. It's just wonderful," said Mrs. Trahan. "I'm just thankful. Thankful to the Lord and thankful to South East Texas Regional."
The Trahans home had mold damage. So much, that Mrs. Trahan says inspectors could stick their hands through the back wall of the house.
"It was very bad," she said. "Whenever they took the old mobile home out, the back door fell off. So it was bad."
After over a year of waiting and signing paperwork, the Trahans moved into their new, larger, handicap accessible home.
"I'm just thankful to the Lord and to Southeast Texas," said Robert Trahan. "The Lord put it on their shoulders to help us out."
"I hope that people will know that something good always comes out of a bad situation. if we just look, God provides," said Mrs. Trahan.
The executive director of the South East Texas Planning Commission, Shaun Davis, said all of the federal funds for Hurricane Rita recovery have been spent. Their purpose was to aid as many people without insurance as possible.