ABC crew films in Greenville

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2005

ABC Nightly News will air a segment on evacuees in Greenville and how they're coping with financial stress following Hurricane Katrina's decimation of the Gulf Coast.

An ABC news crew visited Greenville on Thursday and met with a number of evacuees who have temporarily set-up residence in the Camellia City. Gigi Stone, a correspondent with ABC's World News Tonight, said Greenville appeared in an Associated Press wire search. A phone call to the &uot;City of Smiles&uot; confirmed Greenville was the choice for network news producers, she said.

&uot;We called a bunch of places, but Greenville was the nicest,&uot; she said. &uot;But we wanted some place that was off the beaten path, so to speak. A place where we could talk to the evacuees about rebuilding without financial records.&uot;

It will be the third time in less than a month that Greenville will be spotlighted nationally. The first happened when ABC chose the Camellia City for its weekly variety/reality show &uot;My Kind of Town.&uot; The show aired on Aug. 14.

On Labor Day, CNN visited to interview victims displaced by Katrina who are currently residents of Greenville.

&uot;You can't buy that kind of publicity,&uot; said Mayor Dexter McClendon, who said he was extremely proud of the help his citizens had provided Katrina evacuees. &uot;I've always said the best part of living in Greenville is the people. It's a wonderful community to be a mayor of. I've gotten a lot of emails just from the CNN segment alone.&uot;

Father Fred Lindstrom said, following the CNN piece, he received phone calls from across the country.

&uot;It's just amazing,&uot; he said. &uot;Everyone is looking for ways to help.&uot;

Lindstrom expects the ABC segment, which airs on Sunday night, to produce the same kind of result.

&uot;I'm sure it will,&uot; he said. &uot;Any publicity helps.&uot;

Lindstrom, who heads-up the city's Ministerial Association, said he and his fellow ministers have made themselves available to Katrina refugees, offering them a spiritual shoulder to lean on.

&uot;We circulate through the hotels and we want to be there for them to talk to,&uot; he said.

On Thursday, Lindstrom prayed with a Greenville family still waiting word on their father, who lives in New Orleans. Phillip Depolo and his sister Rosemary Jordan last heard from their father on Aug. 29, the day before Katrina crashed ashore as a Category 4 storm.

&uot;He said it was raining hard and the wind was starting to pick-up,&uot; Depolo said. &uot;He was going to ride it out.&uot;

Depolo said his father was one of the unlucky ones who couldn't leave.

&uot;People say 'well he should have gotten out', but really he couldn't get out,&uot; said Depolo, who said his father was a diabetic and had glaucoma.

Phillip Depolo, Sr., said his son, lived in Orleans Parrish, just across the Mississippi River from where the levee breach occurred that swamped New Orleans with up to 20 feet of water.

&uot;He wasn't in the bowl, which is good,&uot; he said.

This week, both siblings received word from Louisiana State Police that officials would be checking houses in that area this week.

&uot;The Red Cross told us if he was in a shelter, he would have called,&uot; said Jordan. &uot;They said there were long lines, but people could call.&uot;