Governor Says Arkansas will Provide Shelter for Katrina's Refugees

AUGUST 29, 2005 - Posted at 11:11 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Huckabee today said Arkansas is setting up shelters across its southern tier to host Louisiana and Mississippi refugees either fleeing Hurricane Katrina or those who will be kept from their homes because of storm damage.

Many fleeing the storm are filling Arkansas hotel rooms, and Huckabee said at a news conference this morning that shelters will be set up at Lake Village, McGehee, Dumas, Monticello, Pine Bluff, El Dorado, Junction City and Texarkana.

He also said more shelters might be set up through the assistance of the American Red Cross and the state parks system was also lining up ways to accomodate refugees.

Meanwhile in Region 8, the Bono Church of Christ has established a temporary shelter for any hurricane refugees who might be in the Jonesboro area today.

Separately, Huckabee said two Med-evac Blackhawk helicopters would be dispatched to Mississippi tomorrow, at Mississippi's request.  Also, the 239th and 875th engineering units of the National Guard will likely be sent to the disaster zone to assist in the clean-up.

Huckabee said the shelters are for people fleeing the storm and for people whose homes won't be inhabitable for a while and might need a place to stay.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)