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Memories Of Audrey Send Man Searching For Shelter

August 15, 1985

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) _ All it took was a 28-year-old memory to send 60-year-old Alfred Daigle packing.

″Everything’s OK,″ said Daigle, a resident of Cameron. ″Ever since Audrey put the scare in me, I leave.″

Hurricane Audrey hit this area in 1957, killing more than 500 people.

Hurricane Danny moved in Thursday, but began weakening after whipping the Louisiana Gulf Coast.

From the outset, Danny had been called a ″minimal″ hurricane. But even a minimal hurricane is dangerous, officials said. And Daigle took heed. He and his wife, Irma, 76, headed for the evacuation center at a school gymnasium.

As he spoke, Irma lay on a cot, staring up at the bright gymnasium lights.

″I don’t get around very well anymore,″ she said motioning to a folded wheelchair in a corner of the noisy gym. ″And I’m not feeling very good. But I guess this is better than being at home right now.″

About 300 people had registered at the city’s three shelters by 11 a.m. Thursday, said Timothy Hooper, shelter supervisor for Lake Charles Red Cross.

″We’re prepared to handle just about anything right now,″ Hooper said. ″We’ve got a few sick people but nothing serious. The kids are a little rough, but you know how that goes. It’s hard to keep them still.″

As he spoke, some children played a variation of tag in the middle of the gym floor.

″It’s boring,″ said 9-year-old Shawn Fruge, of Lake Charles. ″I’ve just been working on my coloring book and playing on the stairs all day.″

Some watched game shows from cots provided by the Red Cross. Others curled up on the floor with nothing but a blanket.

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