Evacuees Receive Reprieve

JANUARY 2,2006 - Posted at 4:40 p.m.CST

NEW ORLEANS - Hurricane Katrina evacuees around the nation and in Arkansas who faced a Sunday deadline for checking out of their government-funded hotel rooms have received a reprieve.

Federal officials said today they will keep paying for the rooms beyond that date as they iron out issues arising from a class-action lawsuit. But there's one issue. The Federal Emergency
Management Agency, which inherited the program from the American Red Cross, still does not have up-to-date records on the identities of evacuees in the hotel program or where they are staying. That's according to court papers filed last week by government lawyers.

More than 75 people took shelter in Arkansas after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)