Huntersville shelter houses Irma evacuees

Red Cross opens shelter for Irma evacuees

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - As millions of Irma evacuees make their way up north from Florida, some are looking for a place to stay in our area.

The American Red Cross Charlotte and local partners are running a shelter for those out-of-state evacuees at J.M. Alexander Middle School on Hambright Road in Huntersville.

On Saturday night, the shelter housed nine evacuees. Sunday, a family of ten including cousins, aunts, and uncles arrived at the shelter during its second night of operations. The group came up from Orlando and had a long car ride in all the traffic attempting to escape Irma's path.

Red Cross officials say dozens of local community members have been coming by to ask how they can help. One of the volunteers at the shelter, Randy Brown, is a nurse who used to work in the military. He says sometimes what evacuees really need is emotional support.

"They've lost everything they've got and don't know what's coming tomorrow," Brown says. "So to be there with those people and give them that support, or even just someone to talk to, that's better than any kind of medicine in the world."

Brown is on hand for anyone needing medical assistance at the shelter. The shelter is also equipped to accommodate evacuees with special or needs, or ones bringing pets along with them.

Other local partners providing assistance during the sheltering operation include:

  • Metrolina Healthcare Preparedness Coalition
  • Mecklenburg EMS Agency – Medic
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Care and Control
  • Huntersville Police Department
  • Charlotte Fire Department
  • Huntersville Fire Department

Copyright 2017 WBTV. All rights reserved.