New Orleans Family of 11 Taken in by Savannah Relative - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/31/05

New Orleans Family of 11 Taken in by Savannah Relative

Some of the people fleeing the Gulf Coast have ended up in Savannah. We sat down with one family today for whom Savannah wasn't the original destination. Eleven members of the Nabor family of New Orleans thought they were just going to head to Baton Rouge for the night to wait out the storm, but there were no hotels rooms.

They drove for miles and miles, all through the night, and 22 hours later they ended up in Savannah. Now it's a packed house at Gloria Roberts' home on Ogeechee Road. Sunday morning, her daughter and ten other family members showed up at her door with nowhere else to go.

"She said 11," Roberts recalled. "I said okay. You all come on, we'll work it out."

Her daughter Shaneik Nabors is eight months pregnant. She brought her husband Smith and their son Jaylin who's almost two. Also in tow, Smith's mother and father, his brother Joseph, his sister Tajia, and his sister Cynthia, who also brought her husband and two kids.

"I happy I'm here," said Shaneik. "I have my life, my family, but everything I had for my child is gone. We have to start all over."

Sleeping arrangements are crowded, and Roberts has been cooking a lot of big meals.

And everyone has been fixated on the television, watching the devastation of their home town. "Everything," said Cheryl Nabor. "We lost everything. Everything but our lives." The homes they left behind are underwater. "It's at the top of my house, it's even covered the roof, it's gone, everything is gone."

It could be months before they are allowed to return home. And to what?

"Actually, there's nothing to go home to," said Smith. "The city is destroyed, there's nothing to go back home to."

For now Savannah is their home, and they say they are lucky to have someone like Roberts to take them in.

The Nabor family needs clothing, air mattresses, food, diapers, blankets. And they need jobs. If you would like help them and other hurricane victims you can contact the American Red Cross at 912-651-5300. You can contact Gloria Roberts at 231-9822.

When Hurricane Katrina first formed in the Atlantic, Roberts was worried it could hit Savannah and she was actually thinking of staying with her New Orleans family if it did.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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