Rumors Surround Evacuees from Louisiana - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Rumors Surround Evacuees from Louisiana

Rumors Surround Evacuees from Louisiana
By:  Ryan Tate

Officials in two Heartland counties hope the rumors surrounding Hurricane Katrina evacuees from Louisiana will finally come to an end. This, as 150 more are headed to the Heartland.

"People are hearing about robberies, fights, and stabbings, and rapes. It is all not true," Mark Anderson said. Anderson is the Director of Camp W.O.W. in Calloway County.

According to officers at the Murray Police Department and deputies at the Calloway County Sheriff's Department, there have been no incidents at the camp.

"I think people's first images of the evacuees were of looting. So they took those images and put them on the evacuees that wound up here in the Heartland.

It is a similar story in Dunklin County, where evacuees stayed at Camp McClanahan. According to Dunklin County Emergency Management Director Shane Stoelting, he dealt with similar rumors with the evacuees in his town. He said the best way to put an end to the rumors was invite people out to the camp. Anderson agrees.

"Anyone that comes out here has a totally different opinion," Anderson said.

Leonard Johnson is an evacuee from New Orleans. He goes to different function with Anderson to help dispel the rumors.

"I've been quite a few times. I go to different churches. I hope to put a different face of evacuees on what's being said," Johnson said.

According to Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder, two evacuees were arrested for fighting. That was the only arrest involving evacuees at Camp McClanahan.

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