In shelters, Jacksonville-area residents wait for storm to pass

The factor that couldn’t be ignored in a storm shelter as Hurricane Irma reached Jacksonville was the push of noise.

Not from the storm, however from youngsters.

It was principally a cheerful sound, however dozens of kids cooped up inside Andrew Robinson Elementary wanted to blow off steam. Sunday night time their din gave voice to that want till near 10 p.m.

Apart from that, the sound in a single day within the shelter, one among a dozen open in Jacksonville for the hurricane, was of remoted to household conversations and other people filling the hours between sleep. A Jaguars fan watched a replay of Sunday’s win over Houston on his cellphone whereas others tapped at laptops or texted individuals they cared about.

Waves of rain hitting the roof sounded muffled and never essential, though climate alerts sounded on audio system and cellphones to ship flood warnings and the storm outdoors roared for consideration round 2:30 a.m.

Monday morning the 4 TVs mounted on the partitions had the quantity set low for stories on flooding and wind injury that folks eyed as they shuttled to and from the loos.

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A trickle of latest individuals had confirmed up via the night time, some settling in at tables within the half of the shelter area that’s used as a cafeteria.

A couple of of the one hundred or so on the shelter had thought forward sufficient to deliver air mattresses. Most crashed on pads or blankets on the carpeted a part of the room. A couple of appeared to have sat by way of the night time in wheelchairs.

As individuals awakened, Air Nationwide Guard members toted instances of water bottles to tables the place they have been free for the taking. There was a 3-a-day schedule of primary meals served, though some individuals introduced ice chests of their very own provides.

Individuals weren’t leaving because the day began. TV studies advised them about flooding and warned them to remain put.

However the day had began, and there have been issues to do. It was time for breakfast.

Steve Patterson: (904) 359-4263

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