“It doesn’t matter if you live there or are visiting, no one’s getting into the neighborhoods because they’re afraid of looting,” Smith said she was told.
Saturday afternoon, Smith and several other family members headed out to nearby stores to find clothing for the children who range in age from 17-years-old to two weeks old. They’re also on the hunt for diapers and formula, items that were in short supply at the shelter.
“The kids really only had one outfit,” Smith said. “We brought just enough for a day or two. We were thinking we’d be going back (by now). We didn’t realize that with the damages from Matthew, we were going to be stuck here for a while. We’re not prepared.”
While the Smiths make-do in Macon, they’re resting a little easier after finding out from neighbors who stayed behind that their homes are relatively unscathed despite the power outages and downed trees and heavy rain.
One set of the family who lives in Hinesville may still be on pins-and-needles though.
“We dont know about Hinesville because it took a direct hit,” Smith said.
For the most part, though, the Red Cross expects many people to stay in the shelters for the rest of the weekend and possibly the early part of next week, said Divina Mims-Puckett, Georgia Red Cross spokeswoman.
All told, some 18,450 people in four states affected by Matthew woke up Saturday morning in 183 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters seeking refuge from Hurricane Matthew. Georgia’s evacuation shelters are providing more than 26,000 meals and snacks.
“We’re just trying to take care of folks as they remain in the shelter for the next couple of days,” Mims-Puckett said.
Here’s a list of the Red Cross Shelters in Georgia and the number of evacuees in each.
Academy of Richmond County, 356
Butler High School, 471 FULL
Glenn Hills High School, 605 FULL
Henry H. Brigham Community Center, FULL
Josey High School, 250
Laney High School, 342
May Park Community Center, 0
Technical Career Magnet School, 268
Trinity On The Hill United Methodist, 219 FULL
Byron Fire Station #1, 11
CITY OF DOUGLAS
Central Square Complex, 286
Dublin High School, 579
East Laurens High School, East Dublin, 181
Peach County Fire Station # 6, 39
Jefferson Recreation Center, 19
East Macon Recreation Center, 148 FULL
Hephzibah Childrens Home, 124 FULL
Macon City Auditorium 16
North Macon Park Community Center, 161 FULL
First Baptist Church, 110 FULL
Swainsboro Recreation Department, 230 FULL
New Covenant Church, 0
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College- Gressette Gym,152
First United Methodist, 50 FULL
Tift County Recreation Department, 297 FULL
Crosspoint Church,143 - FULL
Park Avenue United Methodist Church, 202 - FULL
Ware County High School, 418
Waycross Middle School, Waycross, 309 - FULL