Many of those people are showing up at the Middle School since it is equipped for such a situation.
The Ocean Place has graciously sent over food for families showing up and Sodexo also is on site to help feed the hundreds of people who have been displaced so far. Many more are expected to arrive.
17-year-old Kristyona Abel of Jackson St. felt it was unsafe to stay at home, but her mother and one of her two brothers decided not to leave. She and her sister Shakyra Gilliard, who is nine, decided to go to the shelter. “I didn’t think it was safe to stay at home and called the police to ask if I could bring my little sister to the shelter, and my uncle drove us here,” Kristyona said.decided to go to the shelter because, “The only thing separating me from the storm is the boardwalk.” She’s from the Puerto Rico and I’m not a friend of the wind. I’ve lived through hurricanes and it’s not a fun place to be.” Taty brought plenty of items with her to keep busy. Knitting, books and music. “I am not wasting a minute of time while I’m here,” she said.
Three girls who are from the Republic of Moldova in Eastern Europe,who all live on Sairs Ave, and work at the Ocean Place were told by the Ocean Place to evacuate to the middle school.
There are plenty of security with local police officers, school security, first aid and a nurse that will be staying the night.
If you are in an unsafe area you should find a place to spend the night. Some places in Long Branch are under mandatory evacuation — once the hurricane is in full force there will be no one to help those in danger.
Long Branch Superintendent Mike Salvatore, along with Mayor Adam Schnieder and members of the council were on hand to welcome people to the shelter and to make sure everything was running smoothly.
The gym has been set up with mats and blow up mattresses for people to sleep on. There are also movies being shown, games, books.
“We are not a school today,” said Mike Salvatore. “Today we’re a shelter. Everything is running smoothly so far, and all the kids have been great. We’ve had to bend the rules a little, but like I said, we’re not a school today.”
Stay tuned for updates and more storm-related photos.