Jacksonville shelters attract many, but plenty of room remains

Individuals from as distant as Pennsylvania and South Florida waited out Hurricane Irma at Jacksonville emergency shelters that remained largely underused Sunday.

Storm evacuees from Sarasota and Homestead in Miami-Dade County have been amongst greater than 300 individuals who got here to Chimney Lakes Elementary Faculty close to the Westside’s Argyle Forest, stated shelter supervisor Nancy Moss.

Others have been inside a number of miles of house, and simply in search of slightly certainty they’d be all proper.

“They are saying on TV, ‘Don’t let your guard down. Be Protected.’ So, that’s what I’m making an attempt to do,” stated Lester Patterson, who stated his daughter in Atlanta was frightened about him, regardless that his residence isn’t in an evacuation zone.

Patricia Gomer hadn’t deliberate to wish a shelter, however she stated the Orange Park lodge the place she had been staying advised friends it was closing for the storm they usually needed to depart. That selection left numerous visitors like her scrambling, Gomer stated as she unloaded her two candy-natured Labrador retrievers from her SUV outdoors Chimney Lakes.

If others went to shelters too, they discovered room.

By Sunday afternoon, there have been 2,661 individuals registered in a dozen shelters, some solely for individuals with particular medical wants.

The whole represented lower than a fifth of the 15,000-individual capability of the shelters, which have been largely staffed by American Purple Cross volunteers, metropolis staff and members of the Florida Nationwide Guard and Air Nationwide Guard.

Landmark Center Faculty off Kernan Boulevard had about 300 individuals within the fitness center and anticipated one other one hundred earlier than the night time was achieved, stated Issac Inexperienced, who left his house in Atlantic Seashore and headed for the shelter Saturday.

Regardless of the restricted use of different locations, the Legends sports activities middle on Soutel Drive crammed up by Saturday afternoon. When cots coated the ground of the gymnasium put aside for common-inhabitants evacuees, Metropolis Councilman Reginald Brown stated Saturday, it was time to put later arrivals on a second-flooring monitor that rings the room like a balcony.

Brown stated the shelter was properly-outfitted for the storm, however that for future occasions he hoped the town might supply senior residents cots that have been simpler to make use of if that they had typical age-associated points like arthritis.

Gear was extra primary elsewhere.

At Andrew Robinson Elementary in Springfield, some individuals rested on the carpeted flooring, utilizing thermal blankets for cushioning. A tv display carried the Jaguars recreation…

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