Upstate shelter welcomes evacuees

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – As of Thursday morning, the governor said roughly 600 evacuees are in Upstate shelters.

The Red Cross says they can house up to 3300 people.  It has teamed up with Spartanburg Emergency Services to set up a shelter at the Spartanburg Expo Center. They have more locations are on standby.

Angel Roman Cruz and his family were the first in the shelter overnight.  They originally tried to find a place to stay in Gastonia, North Carolina.

“Hotels were booked already, and the ones that were available were pretty expensive,” Roman Cruz said.

He and his family are from Puerto Rico and aren’t used to evacuating for hurricanes. He says they weren’t sure what to do at first until friends told them to leave.

“We grabbed our documents, clothes, blankets and got out of there,” Roman Cruz said.

He says for all the traffic he saw leaving the low country. He was surprised the shelter wasn’t full but was happy with the option.

“For not having anything and having to sleep in the car, this is pretty nice having a bed, and snacks.”

The shelter is also pet friendly. Volunteers say they have more than a hundred kennels, carriers, and even a few gerbil cages for the animals. The Department of Health is also making accommodations for anyone with special medical needs.

“Luckily the storm is slow moving, so it’s given us the gift of time, so that’s been very important for us to prepare,” Red Cross Volunteer, Heather Kanipe said.

The Red Cross also has an emergency app where people can track their loved ones who’ve evacuated. On this website, people can register themselves as safe.

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