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NC opens emergency shelters for Irma evacuees

Hurricane Irma forecast predictions through Tuesday

Hurricane Irma slammed Cuba overnight. It's now headed for South Florida, but it won't stop there. Forecasters predict the storm continuing on through next week possibly hitting Georgia and South Carolina.
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Hurricane Irma slammed Cuba overnight. It's now headed for South Florida, but it won't stop there. Forecasters predict the storm continuing on through next week possibly hitting Georgia and South Carolina.

North Carolina opened four emergency shelters Saturday night and a fifth on Sunday to house people fleeing Hurricane Irma from Florida and other states.

“We have seen significant numbers of evacuees stopping at our interstate visitor centers and rest areas seeking lodging, and there are few hotel rooms remaining available,” said NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “These shelters will provide a temporary safe place for people and their pets to rest as they wait for Hurricane Irma to pass.”

The huge storm – 80 miles wide with winds of 125 mph as it leaves Cuba and turns toward Florida – prompted one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history. As many as 6 million people were expected to leave the Sunshine State to get out of Irma’s path.

N.C. Emergency Management and the American Red Cross and county emergency managers are opening shelters in these locations. All can accommodate pets.

Gaston County: Gaston County Resource Center 1303 Dallas-Cherryville Highway, Dallas, NC 28034

Guilford County: City of Greensboro Shelter, 2305 Soabar St., Greensboro, NC 27406

Henderson County: East Henderson High School 110 Upward Road, Hendersonville, NC 28726

Johnston County: Johnston County Industries 912 N. Brightleaf Blvd., Smithfield, NC

Mecklenburg County: J.M. Alexander Middle School 12010 Hambright Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

As Hurricane Irma makes landfall, storm surge is a serious concern.

Martha Quillin: 919-829-8989, @MarthaQuillin

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