HUNTERSVILLE – Brenda Richard didn’t venture far to seek shelter from the effects of Tropical Storm Florence. But it was worth it for the north Charlotte resident to bring her 88-year-old father as well as her dog to the American Red Cross shelter at North Mecklenburg High School to ride out the storm.
Richard is a caregiver for her father, who lives off Beatties Ford Road near Hornets Nest Park, and said a creek runs behind his residence.
“I was concerned about flooding,” she said. “I wanted to get him where he needed to be.”
North Meck is one of five shelters in Mecklenburg County housing evacuees, mostly from the coastal areas of North and South Carolina. It opened Wednesday, and volunteer Bob Quick said 75 are staying at the school, where the gym is filled with cots. More than 110 have registered.
The clients, as Quick described those using the shelter, are fed three hot meals per day – dinner Saturday night was provided by a Huntersville church. The Starbucks in Mooresville donated a vat of coffee.
“People in the neighborhood have really stepped up,” said Quick, who is one of many Mooresville residents volunteering at North Meck.
He said the gym can fit up to 150 people, and if needed, the cafeteria can be used if more space is needed.
More than 17,000 people sought refuge in more than 240 Red Cross and community shelters Friday night to escape the storm’s wrath, the Red Cross website states.
The North Meck Shelter has nurses and policemen there 24 hours a day, and the volunteers work in 12-hour shifts, Quick said.
It’s still accepting donations of clothing, food and pillows. People can donate financially via www.redcross.org.