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Katrina Evacuees Heading to NC

(9-4-05) Hundreds of Hurricane Katrina victims from the Gulf Coast region will be making a temporary home at the Charlotte Coliseum. Local officials on Saturday said they would house up to 500 storm refugees. Hundreds more were expected to receive shelter in Greensboro and Raleigh. Governor Mike Easley made an initial offer to accept 1000 evacuees in the three North Carolina cities. "We are going to do at least as much for American citizens as we do for the people of other nations", Easley said. "In North Carolina, we know what it is like to be devastated by hurricanes and we are more than willing to do our part to help victims from other states". North Carolina is operating a Disaster Hotline where citizens can call to donate money to help with Katrina relief efforts. The toll-free number is 1-888-835-9966 and can be reached between 8a.m. and 6p.m. Monday through Friday. In Charlotte, United Way of Central Carolinas is offering its 2-1-1 Help Line as a clearinghouse for individuals, faith-based groups and others who want to offer resources to assist hurricane victims. "People want to help, and this is a very generous community", said Gloria Pace-King, president and CEO of United Way of Central Carolinas. Operators at the 2-1-1 Help Line will take callers' information and create a list of donors and resources that will be offered to the American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).