Red Cross hopes to close last 2 Florence shelters Friday

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Eight weeks to the day since Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, the American Red Cross hopes to close its last two emergency shelters Friday.

Red Cross Cape Fear Director James Jarvis said 39 people stayed in the Wilmington shelter last night, while 14 more were in a shelter in New Bern. Jarvis said the goal is to close both shelters by 1 p.m. Friday.

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Jarvis told WWAY this afternoon the shelters will not close until each person has “at least one viable housing option.”

Jarvis said the Red Cross and several other agencies, including Hope for NC, FEMA, HUD and Trillium, have been working with shelter residents for weeks to make sure they have somewhere to go. He said residents have known for a week the closure was likely to happen Friday, and he said yesterday a 48-hour notice was posted.

Jarvis said emergency shelters are not intended to be a long-term solution.

“Being in a shelter for 60 days is not good for their long-term recovery,” Jarvis said.