Thomas Hunter Middle School proves a safe haven for humans and pets
When Mathews County emergency officials decided to open their shelter at Thomas Hunter Middle School Friday evening, 12 hours earlier than first planned, they knew there was a possibility no one would show up until the storm arrived the next day. But at least they would be erring on the side of safety.
And, according to JoAnn Wilson-Harfst, director of Mathews Social Services, it was the right thing to do.
"Forty-seven residents made the decision to come in early to the shelter," she said. "Many of them only spoke Spanish and it was a bit difficult communicating with them, but despite the language barrier, they knew the school would be a safe haven from the storm."
A mother and two children were forced to come to the shelter Saturday afternoon when a large tree crashed through one end of their home in Hallieford, a reminder of the risk involved in making the decision not to evacuate.