The Altantic City Covention Center is being set up to accept evacuees from other shelters set up in Atlantic County schools.
Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority president Jeffrey Vasser said after the New Jersey Education Association on Thursday announced it would cancel its conference there next week it opened up the option of using the center for evacuees who could not yet return home.
He said the Atlantic County Office of Emergency Management and the Red Cross are coordinating the effort and he was told the center could begin receiving evacuees this afternoon. He said a few hundred cots have been set up in the exhibit hall, but as many as 1,000 people could be accommodated if necessary. Mobile shower units are also being brought in and arrangements are being made for meals.
“It’s a way to get residents back into the city and close to home, if not home yet,” Vasser said. “We are happy to help.”
A few hundred evacuees, most from the Atlantic City area, were originally taken to Red Cross shelters at the Pleasantville High School and Middle School and Buena Regional High School and Middle School. Many have been there since Sunday. Atlantic City High School also became a makeshift shelter for some 200 city residents.
But the schools have not been able to open while the evacuees are there, so alternative sites were sought.