Augusta to shelter hundreds of Chatham Evacuees

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) They got the word this morning Governor Deal telling Chatham County residents it was time to go and it was time for Augusta to put into its place its agreement with Chatham County to find a place for possibly Thousands to stay…

They were waiting for those getting out of the way of danger at Butler High School but Augusta officials were hoping the will have a good stay.

“It does appear those who’ve come in from the South Carolina counties so far they seem pretty tickled to be in Augusta,” said City Administrator Janice Jackson.

A 10 year old agreement that says the city will shelter up 5000 residents from Chatham County in the event of a mandatory evacuation as city officials waited for their arrival they were unsure of how many to expect.

“Do we know we will get that many we don’t our understanding that they are not evacuating the entire Chatham County maybe part of it we’re not sure how many we will get but we will not estimate it that it will exceed 5000.,” said Fire Chief Chris James.

With Chatham County folks arriving the first order of business making sure the Shelters were ready the city getting  a hand from the Red Cross,  with the city bracing to sheltering residents for many days to come.

“You know honestly at least through Wednesday I think we need to be prepared we’ll just have to play it by ear you know things change the situation is fluid at all times but will be prepared definitely through Wednesday of next week,” said Jackson.

This is the first time Augusta has to act on the agreement and sheltering the evacuees but the city officials say they’re not having butterflies.

“Over the past several years we have had meetings with Chatham County every year prior to hurricane season so we’ve had several discussions of  we hadn’t  prepared you might be butterflies because we have been discussing and preparing for it now it’s just implementing the plan,” said Fire Chief James.

The Red Cross is here but no buses of evacuees the city’s agreement with Chatham County says the city will also shelter up to 500 dogs and cats.

According to city officials no pets were bused in and the total number of evacuee was 630 not the 5000 the city agreed to take.

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