- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The shelter opened by the county had, at its peak, about 81 residents who relocated because of Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy.
On Sunday, the shelter opened at Huntingtown High School, and by noon Tuesday, it was shut down.
As of Monday afternoon, about 45 residents, including children, were using the shelter, located at 4125 Solomons Island Road in Huntingtown.
“My family stressed that I come here, and a couple of my friends did,” said Brandon Howser, a resident from Huntingtown. He said he believes it’s because “it’s supposed to be so bad.”
An American Red Cross volunteer said they are prepared for, and expect, a lot more people to come to the shelter as the storm progresses.
The county had recommended Sunday that residents along the cliffs of Calvert and low-lying, flood-prone areas evacuate.
Resident Jason McCollam brought his family to the shelter from the Chesapeake Ranch Estates earlier Monday morning.
“We learned our lesson last year [with Hurricane Irene],” McCollam said. “We had to have the National Guard come get us [last year].”
McCollam explained that his family lives in a “very wooded” part of CRE, so when Hurricane Irene came through August 2011, “it really did a lot of damage to our property.”
His wife, Iris McCollam, said trees were down all over their property and one fell on their car — which is why the National Guard had to get them.
This year, Jason McCollam stressed, his family headed to the shelter early as a preventive measure.
Jason McCollam said the family’s two dogs, Max and Cody, were also at the shelter at Huntingtown High School.
According to the Calvert County website, a pet shelter was set up in the field house of the high school for any animal that can be confined in a carrier. Also, owners had to provide food, water bowls, medications and proof of immunizations and were responsible for the care of their pets.
“They’ve been real spot on, very professional, generous and helpful,” Jason McCollam said of the volunteers manning the shelter.
Yvonni Wichard, a resident of Chesapeake Beach, said her mother woke her up around noon Monday and said, “‘Come on, we’re getting outta here.’”
Wichard said this was the first time they’d been to the shelter and weren’t sure how long they would be there.
There hasn’t been any power at the house since 10 a.m. Monday, she said, adding that the last major storm left them without power for eight days.
“The reason we left as early as we did,” she explained, is because trees are usually down between Beach Elementary on Old Bayside Road and Summer City Boulevard in Chesapeake Beach.