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Shelters offer haven for evacuees

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Christoph Laport carries in boxes of cots for Hurricane Florence shelter Wednesday at Nash Central High School.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Thursday, September 13, 2018

As Hurricane Florence approaches, several shelters have been opened in Nash and Edgecombe counties for local residents and others who are fleeing the storm from coastal areas.

Nash County Emergency Services opened two shelters at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Nash Central High School at 4279 Nash Central High Road in Rocky Mount and Southern Nash High School at 6446 Southern Nash High Road in Bailey. 

The Eastern North Carolina Red Cross also established an additional shelter at Englewood Baptist Church.

“We opened the Englewood shelter early because we were asked by the state to host evacuees from Dare and Tyrell counties,” Nash County Emergency Services Director Brian Brantley told the Telegram.

As of press time, roughly 100 evacuees from Tyrell County were already at the shelter, said Carolyn Stern, disaster program specialist with the local Red Cross office.

The shelters at Southern Nash High School and Englewood Baptist have been designated as pet-friendly shelters. Rocky Mount and Nash County Animal Control are assisting with pets at Englewood Baptist Church and Southern Nash High, said Scott Rogers, deputy chief of Nash County Emergency Services. 

All three shelters are being staffed by the American Red Cross, Nash County Health Department nurses and Department of Social Services workers, Rogers said. Rocky Mount police and the Nash County Sheriff’s Office are providing security.

Edgecombe County opened five shelters at 6 p.m. Wednesday in partnership with the Red Cross. 

These shelters include D.S. Johnson Elementary School at 600 N. Fairview Road in Rocky Mount; North Edgecombe High School at 7589 NW N.C. 33 in Leggett; Tarboro High School at 1400 Howard Ave. in Tarboro; Martin Millennium Academy at 400 E. Johnston St. in Tarboro and G.W. Carver Elementary School at 604 E. Hamlet St. in Pinetops. 

Cots at the shelters will be limited, so residents are asked to bring bedding to help make their stay more comfortable. The shelters do not take cot or food reservations. However, food and water will be available. 

None of the Edgecombe County shelters are accepting pets. However, Edgecombe County has opened an animal shelter for cats and dogs only at 2906 Anaconda Road in Tarboro. The shelter will be open limited hours depending on the weather. Residents must bring identification and vaccination records for their pet. Call the Edgecombe County EOC st 824-0108 for details and hours.

The Rev. James Gailliard announced that Word Tabernacle Church will be used as a temporary Red Cross headquarters to house a command station, staff and volunteers who will be leading relief efforts in the area.

The Red Cross is seeking volunteers who can sign up for a six-to-12-hour shift working at local shelters. Licensed nurses and mental health professionals are especially encouraged to volunteer. Anyone interested in volunteering should sign up at redcross.org/enc. Following sign-up, a Red Cross team member will contact applicants. Due to the expected high-volume of applications, Red Cross officials ask for patience as the organization reaches out to volunteers.

Residents seeking shelter at any of the sites are asked to carry clothing and bedding materials along with non-perishable food and any medications or personal items they may need. They should be prepared for at least 72 hours of self-sufficiency once the storm begins as access may be blocked for first responders.

Information regarding shelters will be updated by the state as it becomes available on the ReadyNC app and at rockymounttelegram.com.

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Items to bring to a shelter

■ Bedding

■ Clothing for two-to-three days

■ Medications

■ Hygiene Products (toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes, etc.)

■ Favorite toys and comfort items for children

Don’t Bring:

■ Alcoholic beverages

■ Tobacco products

■ Illegal drugs

■ Weapons

■ Pets, unless the shelter is designated as pet-friendly

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