Heartland Bus Driver Helps Evacuate Hurricane Victims

Heartland Bus Driver Helps Evacuate Hurricane Victims
By: Lauren Keith

Throughout our hurricane coverage, we've introduced you to "everyday" people who've stepped up to help Katrina's victims.  While Clyde Kasten of Jackson did what he's paid to do, drive a tour bus still, he never thought his job could make such an impact.
“The stories they were telling, the conditions in the superdome…it just got to me," said Kasten.
Kasten saw firsthand, Ktrina's wrath, as traveled toNew Orleans.  He even shot video of places in New Orleans where news cameras weren't allowed.
Kasten says those images will never escape his memory, and it was an emotional drive for him, as he drove his bus, moving evacuees from the Superdome to Houston's astrodome.
“Firsthand,the smell--- oh the smell--- raw sewage," remembers Kasten.
As each rider loaded onto Clyde's bus, he says they all complained of the "inhumane" conditions in the Superdome.  His heart ached when he heard one grandmother tell him her one-month old granddaughter barely survived.
"She'd wake, take a bottle, and then go back to sleep and be like a dishrag, but when they got on the bus, she started moving her legs and showing signs of life, and we were so happy about that,” says Kasten.
As he traveled back and forth, Clyde certainly did more than push a gas pedal.  He let several evacuees use his personal cell phone to call missing family members.  He says it was a simple courtesy that led to one happy reunion!
“I never thought I'd have such a big impact on anyone's life, and I know she was very happy, they were able to pick her up! It’s something I'll never forget,” he said.
And now that Kasten’s back at home in the Heartland, he’s trying to find more ways he can help Hurricane Katrina victims.