Evacuees pass up shelters - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Evacuees pass up shelters

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September 4, 2004

Tifton- Gressette Gym, on the Abraham Baldwin College Campus, is the only shelter open in Tift County right now. It was one of four opened Friday evening.

It can house 300 people, but only 11 people stayed there Friday. Red Cross volunteers say they expect more people Saturday night.

Dozens of volunteers are also on hand at the shelter to make sure none of the evacuees go hungry.

Volunteers from the Georgia Baptist Convention just left Watchula, Florida a week ago where they served nearly 100,000 meals to Hurricane Charley victims. Now with the help of some ABAC students they are preparing to feed evacuees.

"We can cook from this tent probably up to 40,000 meals at a time. It's strenuous work, but we have a lot of good volunteers though that follow it all the time," says Wanda Mathews.

The disaster team is prepared to serve two hot meals a day in addition to a snack for breakfast.

A Moultrie shelter is also closed because only eleven evacuees stayed there overnight, and most of them were from a single family.

After 13 hours of driving the Hernadez family from Apopka, Florida stayed at Kingwood Baptist Church, a Red Cross shelter,Friday night.< /STRONG>

The family was moved to another shelter in Norman Park. The Colquitt County emergency operations center says calls for shelter slowed down, but they expect phones to start ringing again after severe weather comes through South Georgia.

For a list of shelters go to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency website at www.gema.state.ga.us.

Posted at 5:50 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com