Alternatives considered for emergency shelter

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Jul 24, 2013 - 02:15 PM

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.