With an ice storm and power outages chilling a community, Richmond County tried to bring families a bit of warmth Wednesday night.
County emergency officials opened a shelter at 6 p.m. at the May Park Community Center gymnasium at 622 Fourth Street.
“Obviously a lot of people are still without power, so we’re inviting anyone to come stay the night here,” said Mie Lucas, Augusta’s emergency management disaster preparedness coordinator. “This is a warm, safe environment, and we really hope people will take advantage.”
The shelter can hold up to 300 people, she said.
“All we’re asking is for everyone to bring their own pillow and blankets,” Lucas said. “We’ll have a few cots for elderly people but everyone else needs to bring their own things.”
In addition to the shelter, the Red Cross will also provide food and water.
“This will be a mass-care shelter,” Lucas said. “Meaning we’ll have snacks, coffee, water and lots of other supplies.”
Although Lucas hopes the power outages will be fixed by Thursday, she stated the shelter will remain open if the conditions do not improve.
“If the power still isn’t back tomorrow, we’ll be right here,” she said. “We’re only guaranteeing shelter (Wednesday) night, but if the conditions don’t improve we’ll be here again Thursday night.”