Lowndes County welcomes Jeanne refugees - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes County welcomes Jeanne refugees

September 26, 2004

Valdosta-- Florida hurricane evacuees have booked up all of the hotels in Valdosta, now many of them are staying in shelters. Those evacuees left Florida to get away from the bad weather, but it looks like it may be following them here to Lowndes County.

But the weather we're expecting is nothing compared to what parts of Florida saw earlier today, and many people who live there are once again making their temporary homes here in Valdosta. About 20 people slept here at Central Avenue Church of Christ last night, 17 are signed up to stay tonight. The Red Cross is providing warm meals and a safe place to stay.

This hurricane season is starting to take a toll on many of the evacuees. The Tinoco family of Ft. Pierce Florida has evacuated to Valdosta for the second time this month. "Most of the people and the citizens over there are so tired of it but what can we do,” said Maria Tinoco. “It’s the nature, its not up to us so I think the best thing to do is keep going and act positive."

Right now, Central Avenue Church of Christ is the only emergency shelter open. The Red Cross won't open another one until it fills up, and the church still has room for about 200 more people. Those shelters aren't just for evacuees from Florida.

With the bad weather we're expecting, people living in mobile homes may need to evacuate. There's no mandatory evacuation yet, but if you live in a mobile home and you don't feel comfortable with the weather, the shelter is open to you.

If you choose to stay in an emergency shelter, the Red Cross asks that you take personal items like sleeping bags, blankets, toiletries, and any medications you need.

posted at 7:15PM by dave.miller@walb.com