Alternatives considered for emergency shelter
The Mathews County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday discussed the possibility of abandoning plans to make Rappahannock Community College the county’s emergency shelter.
Chair Edwina Casey said that $200,000 has already been spent on equipping and studying the facility "and there’s still nothing we can use … it’s just good money going after bad."
Last year, the county partnered with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to install a grant-funded generator switch at RCC that would enable VDEM to hook up one of its mobile generators in case the college was needed as a shelter. However, an RCC official halted the plan and called for a study to determine its feasibility. The study is being funded by a grant, not by the county.
Casey also expressed reservations about using Peasley Middle School, Gloucester County’s shelter, as an alternative. Having participated in a recent emergency operations exercise, she said she "got a bad feeling" that the shelter "won’t be beneficial to us as a county."
Gloucester has only one shelter with a back-up generator, she said, and it’s "down a back road at Ark." She said Gloucester will have to use that shelter for its own people and that elderly people in Mathews might not want to travel there.