DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – As Hurricane Dorian approaches the North Carolina coast, more than a dozen evacuees have already checked in to the state’s hurricane shelter at Northgate Mall in Durham.
North Carolina Emergency Management and the American Red Cross have turned the old Sears building into a large shelter that can house between 500 and 1,000 evacuees.
On Wednesday, 16 evacuees checked in to the shelter from different areas along the coast.
CBS 17 spoke with Lucile, an evacuee from South Carolina, who did not want to show her face on camera or reveal her last name.
She told CBS 17 that she had evacuated with her husband and two children and they drove several hours to seek shelter from Hurricane Dorian.
She was concerned for the safety of her family and she did not want to take her chances and stay near the coast.
“I am afraid, I’m definitely afraid,” Lucile said. “I’m kind of hoping for the best but kind of trying to mentally prepare myself for ‘what if,’ just in case.”
As of Wednesday, state officials said they had 726 cots set up and they had enough food and water for all evacuees who arrive.
“We’ll be figuring out the best way to feed everyone so that we can have hot meals since there is not a kitchen on-site,” said Sandi Bridges, incident commander for the Northgate Shelter.
State officials said they also have enough bathroom and shower trailers for at least 500 evacuees.
There is also an air-conditioned trailer outside the shelter where evacuees can keep their pets.
Bridges said they are prepared for more evacuees to arrive in the coming days as Hurricane Dorian approaches North Carolina.
As for Lucile, she said she is just thankful her family had a place to turn before the storm hits.
“It means the world to me, especially being a mother,” Lucile said. “It means the world to me that I can bring my kids somewhere safe.”
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