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Daughter waits for word

Rochelle Morris fills out a missing-persons form on Monday. She has a long list of family whose whereabouts are unknown.
Rochelle Morris fills out a missing-persons form on Monday. She has a long list of family whose whereabouts are unknown.
Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News

Rochelle Morris should have been at a dinner party with the rest of her family the night Hurricane Katrina hit.

She wasn't, and now she's alone in Utah with her aunt. She's worried her mother, brothers and sisters could be anywhere, if they made it out alive, she said.

"Nobody thought the storm would be that serious," Morris said Monday as she filled out a missing-persons form at Camp Williams.

Morris stayed back at the house with her boyfriend when the floodwaters started seeping into the family home.

Her mother, who usually never leaves the house, had gone to her sister's house to prepare for the party.

"I'm so thankful she wasn't here," Morris said. "I know she's safe somewhere with family."

Morris said she prays that she can find her family and reunite with them once again. For now, she has befriended other weary evacuees at Camp Williams. "This is my family now."

Morris said she loves the weather and the beautiful mountains of the Wasatch Front. But anything is better than New Orleans right now, she said.

Her brief stay at Camp Williams has been filled with kindness and love, she said. Morris said she didn't know much about Utah before but said she is happy to stay here until she can find her family again.

"It's really beautiful out here," Morris said. "They really treat you nice out here."