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The Nation

Evacuees in Hotels Fewer Than Thought

October 19, 2005|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Acknowledging that its staff misinterpreted data, the American Red Cross said Tuesday that about 200,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees were being housed in hotels and motels nationwide, considerably less than the 600,000 the agency reported last week.

Red Cross spokeswoman Devorah Goldburg said the higher figure represented the number of people who had been served cumulatively by the housing program, which is aimed at getting all evacuees out of large shelters. The 200,000 figure represents the people currently living in hotels and motels under the program, which the Red Cross is operating under contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Red Cross calculates the cost of the motel program at $220 million to $250 million, instead of the $350 million to $425 million that was projected last week.

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