Hurricane evacuees find comfort at Robertsdale shelter - FOX10 News | WALA

Hurricane evacuees find comfort at Robertsdale shelter

Posted: Updated:
ROBERTSDALE, AL (WALA) -

Hundreds of evacuees from Florida and dozens of their pets have spent the last few nights in the Baldwin County Coliseum.  The facility was turned into an American Red Cross shelter late last week to help those trying to escape Hurricane Irma’s path. 

The coliseum was built to withstand winds from a category five hurricane and serve as a storm shelter.  While it’s never been put to the wind test, for the first time, it’s spent the last few days as an active shelter.  Hundreds of folks fleeing Florida found their way there beginning Friday, September 8, 2017, but when they left home none knew it would be where they would end up.

“As I was driving through, I had already been on the road for over 10 hours and I was so tired and I saw signs on the street, on I-10 talking about the shelter.  It was…well, I would be in my car if it wasn’t for them,” said Eric Reinholt who left Clearwater, FL.

“It’s just a blessing that we got here and there’s no words that can say to thank these people, you know,” said Jesse Andrade from Ft. Myers, FL.  “They’re helping us with the kids so much and the food and stuff.  It’s just so much.”

As a Red Cross shelter, the coliseum can accommodate 450 people.  As of Monday morning, September 11, 2017, 435 had turned it into their temporary home.  More than two dozen Red Cross volunteers split 12 hour shifts to take care of the evacuees.  Aside from providing food and shelter, they’re also meeting another big need.

“We have nurses, Red Cross nurses taking care of medical needs and we have mental health counselors who are trained to deal with folks like that,” explained Executive Director of the South Alabama American Red Cross chapter, Mike Brown.  “That’s one of the amazing things to me because I’m no good at that, but I see our volunteers hugging these folks, sitting down and talking to them and really, just listening to them.”

While hundreds took refuge in the coliseum, many of them brought their pets with them.  One gentleman in particular brought 17 dogs.  Bill Stickley had to get out, but wasn’t going to leave his pets behind so he loaded his truck in Haines City, Florida and found himself in Robertsdale.

“I packed them, stuffed them and hid them in every compartment I could find.  People were videoing, taking pictures.  I’ll be on Facebook.  I’ll be all over the place,” Stickley said.

The one place Stickley and everyone else here wants to be is home and just hope they find it as they left it.

 Because of their donations, the Red Cross credits Baldwin and Mobile county citizens for making sure evacuees had everything they needed while there.  Officials plan on closing the shelter at some point Tuesday, September 12, 2017.
 

All content © 2017, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

  • Baldwin CountyMore>>

  • Confederate flag removed from Spanish Fort City Hall

    Confederate flag removed from Spanish Fort City Hall

    Monday, November 20 2017 10:31 PM EST2017-11-21 03:31:54 GMT
    Spanish Fort City Hall (FOX10 News)Spanish Fort City Hall (FOX10 News)

    Spanish Fort city leaders have decided to take down the Confederate flag at city hall. Some residents and the Baldwin County NAACP complained about the flag, saying it's a reminder of slavery and hate.

    Spanish Fort city leaders have decided to take down the Confederate flag at city hall. Some residents and the Baldwin County NAACP complained about the flag, saying it's a reminder of slavery and hate.

  • Daphne sticking with Baldwin County Public Schools

    Daphne sticking with Baldwin County Public Schools

    Monday, November 20 2017 9:38 PM EST2017-11-21 02:38:23 GMT
    Daphne City Council gets update on feasibility study on what it would cost to break away from Baldwin County School System and form city school system. Source: Lee Peck, FOX 10 NewsDaphne City Council gets update on feasibility study on what it would cost to break away from Baldwin County School System and form city school system. Source: Lee Peck, FOX 10 News

    Daphne city leaders voted against moving forward with phase two of a feasibility study on breaking away from the Baldwin County School System and forming a city-run system. 

    Daphne city leaders voted against moving forward with phase two of a feasibility study on breaking away from the Baldwin County School System and forming a city-run system. 

  • Bay Minette electronics theft caught on camera

    Bay Minette electronics theft caught on camera

    Monday, November 20 2017 4:26 PM EST2017-11-20 21:26:59 GMT
    Shoplifting suspects (Bay Minette Police)Shoplifting suspects (Bay Minette Police)

    Police in Bay Minette are looking for three people accused of stealing electronics from Walmart. Investigators say the two men and one woman got away with approximately $1,700 worth of merchandise. 

    Police in Bay Minette are looking for three people accused of stealing electronics from Walmart. Investigators say the two men and one woman got away with approximately $1,700 worth of merchandise. 

Powered by Frankly
FOX10TV.com
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.