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More than 500 in St. Lucie County shelters

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Posted at 7:16 AM, Sep 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-02 12:49:17-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla.-- Hundreds of people are waking up in shelters in St. Lucie County. It says more than 500 people checked into five of the county’s designated shelters.

216 people stayed at Fort Pierce Central High School overnight.

It opened at 2 p-m on Sunday afternoon.

Members of St. Lucie County Public Safety Department, St. Lucie County schools and the American Red Cross are making sure everything is OK.

People are encouraged to bring their own medicine, blankets, towels to shower, hygiene products and snacks.

A Red Cross employee says this shelter is an evacuation shelter, not a recovery shelter. They don’t provide cots and people only get 20-square feet, not 40-square feet. It’s to keep people out of the elements. And there’s a very limited supply of hygiene products for the number of people they expect.

"What’s going to happen is - everybody says they’re going to ride the storm out. But the closer the storm comes the more apprehensive people become and then they realize, 'I’m probably making a mistake,' and that’s when your shelter population is going to increase," said Red Cross shelter manager Michael Buscemi.

You need to have a form of identification to get in, and once on site, those who check-in cannot check-out.