Hurricane Katrina FRIDAY. SEPTEMBER 2. 200B1 J Deliverance Refugees who make it to Houston get showers, meals By MARY FOSTER Tlie Associated Press At the front of the line, the weary refugees waded through ankle-deep water, grabbed a bottle of water from state troopers and happily happily hopped on buses that would deliver them from the horrendous conditions of the Superdome. At the back end of the line, people jammed against police barricades in the rain. Refugees passed out and had to be lifted handover-hand handover-hand overhead to medics. Pets were not allowed allowed on the bus, and when a police officer confiscated a little boy's dog, the child cried until he vomited. The scene played out Thursday as the plodding procession out of the Super- dome entered its second day — an evacuation that became became more complicated as thousands more storm victims victims showed up at the arena. Capt. John Pollard of the Texas Air Force'National Guard said 20,000 people were in the dome when the evacuation efforts began. By Thursday afternoon, the number had swelled to about 30,000. Pollard said people poured into the Su perdome because they believe believe it's the best place to get a ride out of town. The refugees began arriving arriving Thursday at the Astrodome Astrodome in Houston, where they got a shower, a hot meal and a cool place to sleep. "I would rather have been in jail," Janice Jones said in obvious relief at being out • of the dome. "I've been in there seven days and I haven't had a bath. They treated us like animals. Everybody is scared." Miranda Jones, her daughter, was standing next to her, carrying her father's ashes — the only thing they were able to save from her house before'Hurricane Katrina Katrina blasted.New Orleans, An angry Teirry Ebbert, head of New Orleans' emergency emergency operations, watched the slow exodus from the Su perdome and said the Federal Federal Emergency Management Agency response was inadequate. inadequate. The chaos at the nearby nearby New Orleans Convention Center was considerably more hostile than the Super- dome, with few options for refugees to leave the scene. "This is a national disgrace. disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no '-A i • V Photos by The Associated Press "'v^ Hurricane Katrina refugees begin to fill up cots on the floor of Houston's Astrodome . on Thursday. According to Red Cross volunteers, 5,000 refugees from Louisiana had^ ::t^ arrived inside the Astrodome by Thursday afternoon. ? ;>;S command and control," Ebbert said. "We.can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of NewOrleans." After a dayin line in the heat without water or food, dozens of people fell out. Medics poured water on them, fanned them and tried to cool them down. Meanwhile, the crowd kept growing as stranded people heard about the buses buses and headed to the dome. By early afternoon, a line of people a half-mile long snaked from the Superdomis through the nearby Hyatt Regency Hotel, then to . /• where buses waited. After a teenager was tak- ' • en away by police for fighting, fighting, Capt. John PaUerre of the Texas Air Force National National Guard told the crowd on' public address: "We can't have people fighting. I have kids here who are crying and frightened and can't. ,. find their parents. Be adulfe. We're going to get you out of ^•^.f'': here. It takes a while. I'm not God. If I was, you'd all be home with your family" After a traffic j am kept Displaced New Orleans residents wait outside the Superdome on Thursday for evacuation. buses from arriving at the ,, ^ Superdome for nearly four hours, a near-riot broke out in the scramble to get on \ J the buses that finally ' ^ showed up.