Irma Evacuees Take Shelter At Alabama State University

Local Shelters continue to house those who have traveled to the area to avoid Tropical Storm Irma. Alabama State University has been working with the American Red Cross to take in evacuees at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.

The Acadome has been open as a shelter since last Thursday, and since then close to 200 people have come through its doors. One evacuee, Eduardo Gonzalez, says it took two days for he and his family to travel to the shelter from Homestead, Florida.

Gonzales says he decided to wait it out at home when hurricane Andrew blew through in 1992, but he didn’t want to take any chances this time. He sent his wife and children ahead of him to wait out the storm.

“I said go” explains Gonzalez “I don’t want my kids going through the same thing as Andrew. She [Gonzalez’s wife] was scared it was going to be the worst disaster too”.

Red cross officials say they’ve been doing their best to help evacuees keep their minds off of what’s going on back home.

“What we’ve been doing is bringing in other community partners to offer games for the children, just recreational activities.  says Tawanna Robbins, Disaster Program Manager.

Still Gonzalez can’t help but wonder if he and his family will have a place to go home to. He says “they say it’s still there, it’s still in tact but I don’t know about the roof”.

Another evacuee, Casandra Walsh, calls Orlando home and has also been trying to stay up-to-date on the latest there.

She says “I hope people who decided to stay are safe” and hopes she’ll be able to head back home Tuesday.

There is no official word yet on exactly how long ASU’s Dunn-Oliver Acadome will remain a shelter, but Red Cross officials say the shelter will be open until it is safe for the evacuees to go home.

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