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Wake County’s 3 shelters are full as officials seek additional options

Preparations, evacuations along Mid-Atlantic coast as Hurricane Florence looms

Swaths of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Florence. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in coastal regions and will affect 1 million people.
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Swaths of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Florence. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in coastal regions and will affect 1 million people.

Wake County’s three emergency shelters are filling up so new Hurricane Florence evacuees are being encouraged to relocate more than 100 miles further west to Winston-Salem.

Between 1,200 and 1,300 people from the North Carolina coast are staying at emergency shelters at Garner, Knightdale and Southeast Raleigh high schools, according to Dara Demi, a Wake County spokeswoman. County officials said they had a few spots left Thursday morning: 81 at Knightdale, 32 at Garner and four at Southeast Raleigh.

But with the shelters at capacity, Demi said newly arriving coastal evacuees are being encouraged to go to the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem.

“We just don’t have any more capacity to house them at this time,” Demi said Thursday.

More than 1,000 people can be housed at the coliseum.

In the meantime, county officials say they plan to open additional shelters. These shelters will primarily be for local residents fleeing from Florence.

In a news release, the county also said it’s “assessing its options and resources.”

Updates will be shared on wakegov.com.

Wake County residents with non-emergency questions can call 919-856-7044.

Here is a list of shelters in the Triangle:

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Donna Brown, 59, of Jacksonville, fled with her family to an emergency shelter at Knightdale High School to escape Hurricane Florence. Brown says she was too concerned about the storm to stay on the coast.

Staff writer Camila Molina contributed.

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