Wake County announced Thursday it is opening three new shelters to help local residents deal with the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence.
Shelters will open at 1 p.m. at Heritage High School, 1150 Forestville Road, Wake Forest; 2:30 p.m. at Middle Creek High School, 123 Middle Creek Park Ave., Apex; and 4 p.m. at Sanderson High School, 5500 Dixon Drive, Raleigh.
County officials said the three new shelters can hold up to 1,139 people.
The Heritage shelter is pet-friendly. Wake County says pet owners should bring all the items they need for their pet’s care, including crates, leashes, pet food, cat litter and pans.
Wake County also says people coming to the shelters should bring special items such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solution and hearing aid batteries. They should also bring extra clothing, cash, identification cards and items for infants/young children such as formula, diapers and bottles.
Statewide, Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday that there are more than 12,000 people in 126 shelters. He said the state is looking to open more shelters as the storm moves across the state.
The new Wake shelters, on top of the three filled with coastal evacuees, are coming online as Florence is expected to reach landfall in North Carolina early Friday morning.
Earlier this week, Wake County opened emergency shelters at Garner, Knightdale and Southeast Raleigh high schools to primarily house people fleeing from the coast.
County officials say those three shelters are full with more than 1,200 people in them. Newly arriving coastal evacuees are being encouraged to go instead to Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem.
But county officials also say that coastal residents won’t be turned away from the three new shelters opening.