RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Dozens of people fleeing Hurricane Florence took advantage of hurricane shelters in Richmond on Thursday night and Friday morning.
Nearly 30 people stayed at Linwood Holton Elementary school overnight. None of them were from out of state, according to city spokesperson Tom Byrnes. One person was headed to Florida and got held up here because of travel concerns.
Nine people stayed at the other shelter on the city’s south side at Blackwell Elementary. Mayor Levar Stoney made the decision to open two shelters because of uncertainty in the ever-changing Florence forecast this week.
His administration gave us a tour of the inside - There is a reception area to welcome anyone who needs to stay here, a food service area, a place for health screenings and cots to sleep on. The shelter is pet friendly - though no pets have been brought here.
A spokesperson says the city is constantly accessing the need, and will let the public know when these hurricane shelters will close.
In Petersburg, Virginia State University students and staff are opening their doors to Norfolk State students who are under a mandatory evacuation.
Shelters are also set up in other areas around the state to help those evacuating along the Virginia and North Carolina coasts
Florence is roaring ashore as a Category 1 hurricane on Friday morning.