Mathews partners with RCC for hurricane shelter

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Jun 20, 2012 - 02:02 PM

Beginning this hurricane season, Mathews County residents will have a safer place to go in the event of a direct hit from a strong storm.

Mathews has partnered with Rappahannock Community College to provide a shelter for county residents in the event of a Category 2 or above storm, or a direct hit from a Category 1 hurricane, according to David Burns, emergency services coordinator for Mathews County.

In the event of a major storm, residents will be transported via county school buses to RCC’s Glenns campus.

Burns, who has been the driving force behind the partnership, said Mathews County has been trying for years to get a shelter that would be safe to house residents in a Category 2 hurricane.

The initial idea came about from Mathews resident Wallace Twigg, who has seen the need of a more stable shelter location for many years. Twigg also works as a region coordinator with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM).

Residents in need of shelter have been traditionally sent to Thomas Hunter Middle School. The school will remain the primary shelter for county residents during weaker storms and as long as county officials deem it safe.