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Shelters ready for evacuees

Shelters ready for evacuees

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As coastal residents move inland, they will find T&D Region shelters ready to welcome them.

Public schools throughout the region have been closed for the rest of the week so they can serve as temporary hurricane shelters.

The gymnasium floor of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School was already covered Wednesday afternoon and ready for beds to be brought in.

“I’m a volunteer with FEMA Corps and we’re working with the American Red Cross to help set up the hurricane shelters,” Rosemary Stevenson said.

Stevenson and her colleagues, Lucas Hochstein and Kennaea Swygert, traveled to South Carolina from the Sacramento campus of AmeriCorps

They had been serving in Columbia for three weeks before receiving news of Hurricane Matthew.

“We were here helping out the Red Cross before the storm was projected to hit,” Hochstein said. “It just happened to be the right spot.”

“We’ll just be staffing it 24/7 so that people have a safe place to stay,” Stevenson said.

Betty Strong, Dezarae Garner and Tiffany Stokes with the state Department of Social Services will be helping at the O-W shelter as well.

Strong’s not sure how many people will be coming, but they’ll set out as many cots as needed.

Use of the high school will be ideal as evacuees will have access to showers in the locker rooms.

“Usually they bring food so we can help serve as well,” Stokes said.

Shelters in Orangeburg County include:

• Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, 601 Bruin Parkway, Orangeburg

• Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High School, 7066 Norway Road, Neeses

• Elloree Elementary School, 200 Warrior Drive, Elloree

• Bethune-Bowman High School, 4857 Charleston Highway, Rowesville

Bamberg County shelters are located at:

• Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School, 267 Red Raider Dr., Bamberg

• Ghents Branch Baptist Church, 1974 Ghents Branch Road, Denmark

• Denmark-Olar High School, 197 Viking Circle, Denmark

Visit scemd.org for a complete list of shelters as well as updates.

Contact the writer: jmack@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5516.

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Government Reporter

John Mack is a 2016 graduate of Claflin University. He is an Orangeburg native.

Related to this story

As Hurricane Matthew roars closer to the South Carolina coast, more local schools have announced they’ll be closed for the remainder of the week.

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