Shelters set up around Richmond and state to help people escaping Hurricane Florence

The City of Richmond Emergency Operations Center is preparing to help those escaping Hurricane...
The City of Richmond Emergency Operations Center is preparing to help those escaping Hurricane Florence.(WWBT NBC12)
Updated: Sep. 12, 2018 at 5:01 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Shelters are being set up around the city and state to help people trying to get out of Hurricane Florence’s path.

Governor Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that state shelters would be set up at Christopher Newport University in Newport News and at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg. The Siegel Center was also set up in the event that another state shelter is needed.

Meanwhile, the City of Richmond opened an emergency operations center at the Richmond Public Library on Franklin Street, to track the storm.

Mayor Levar Stoney says that despite the storm's path moving in a more favorable direction for Virginia, he wants to remain vigilant.

"We will continue not to let our guard down," Mayor Stoney said. "Our number one priority is to keep our residents safe."

City shelters have been set up for people in need. The shelters will open on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Linwood Holton Elementary School on Laburnum Avenue and Blackwell Elementary on Everett Street. Linwood Holton will be pet-friendly.

“Transportation to those shelters will be free through GRTC,” Stoney said. “Those routes will be Routes 14 and 91. [They] will go to Holton and Route 87 will go to Blackwell Elementary School.”

While city officials continue tracking Florence from their operation's center, the Richmond ambulance authority is preparing too. They started their efforts more than a week ago.

Wesley Wampler is the interim director of operations for the Richmond Ambulance Authority.

“We increase our staffing as much as possible to make sure we have appropriate supplies such as water, medical supplies, food,” Wampler said. “It’s important to be ready in a worst-case scenario.”

Wampler says they have also prepared for the possibility of an influx of people from out of state escaping Florence.

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