New Orleans Hauling everything he owned in a plastic garbage bag, Darryl Travis walked out of the chandeliered lobby of the Crowne Plaza, joining the exodus of Hurricane Katrina refugees evicted Tuesday from their hotel rooms across the country.
The occupants of more than 4,500 government-paid hotel rooms were ordered to turn in their keys Tuesday, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency began cutting off money to pay for their stays.
Far more people - the occupants of at least 20,000 hotel rooms, many of which housed entire families - were given extensions by FEMA until at least next week and possibly until March 1, said FEMA spokesman Butch Kinerney.
FEMA said it gave people every possible opportunity to request an extension.
"We've bent over backward to reach out. We've gone door-to-door to all of the 25,000 hotel rooms no fewer than six times. And there are individuals who have refused to come to the door, refused to answer. There are people who have run when they saw us coming - those are the ones that are now moving on," Kinerney said.