Red Cross shelter at Carson High School ready, remains empty |

Red Cross shelter at Carson High School ready, remains empty

Staff reports

In case of an overflow of evacuees from the Angora fire, the American Red Cross has set up a shelter at Carson High School.

With the help of the Carson City Fire Department’s Community Emergency Response Team and food provided by Nevada Southern Baptists Convention Disaster Relief, about 12 Red Cross volunteers will staff one of three shifts.

“We were fully operational by 8 p.m. (Tuesday) night,” said Curtis Bowers, mass care leader for the Red Cross.

The Community Emergency Response Team went into the school to set up cots in the small gym, cordon off a portion of the school to prevent people from wandering, and designate areas for television watching and children to play.

“They had everything ready for us by the time we arrived,” Bowers said.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the Carson City shelter wasn’t needed.

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“We’re in a waiting game,” said Michael Hurick, emergency services director for Northern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross.

And though an estimated 3,500 people were forced to evacuate from their South Lake Tahoe homes during Sunday’s inferno and Tuesday’s flare up, the South Lake Tahoe shelter was relatively unused. Hurick said only 23 people stayed overnight Tuesday.

“Those 3,000 people had to go somewhere, and they probably went to every motel and hotel they could find,” Hurick said.

Bowers said the Carson High School site can house 250 people, and if the need arises, Dayton High School has been designated for overflow.

Weather forecasters predicted strong winds on Wednesday and even stronger winds today. Firefighters fear those winds could prove disastrous.

For that reason, Hurick said, the shelters are a precaution.

“We are fully staffed and ready to go because if this thing goes catastrophic, people are going to come off that mountain fast,” he said.