Over 1,000 people staying in storm shelters - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Over 1,000 people staying in storm shelters

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Residents from around the island began trickling into shelters late Thursday afternoon, once Guam was placed in Condition Of Readiness 2. However, what began as six emergency shelters grow to eight by Friday morning. Wettengel Elementary School principal Evangeline Iglesias said, "I got notice that the Machanaonao Elementary School had reached its capacity as far as occupancy, and that earlier this morning we were told Maria Ulloa was experiencing the same thing. So I was notified to open the shelter at around 11 o'clock this morning."

Iglesias opened the school at about 10:30am, and by 10:40 was already receiving the overflow of registrants who had been turned away from other northern shelters. "At this point we have about five shelters that are open for the northern region," she said.

The northern shelters are Machanaonao, Maria Ulloa, Astumbo, Wettengel and F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School. The other shelters are George Washington High School for central residents, and Harry S. Truman Elementary and Talofofo Elementary for southerners.

KUAM News spoke with Dededo resident Keresen Soran, who was waiting out the storm at Maria Ulloa. He said, "I'm scared for the typhoon, that's why I come over here. I go to the school." He said it was his first time at a shelter, and that he registered because it would have been dangerous to try to weather the storm at home. Soran added, "Now that the rain and the wind is coming over, that's why I'm scared for the typhoon come, but it's okay."

Meanwhile shelteree Kalisto Kanas could be seen sweeping the hallways at Maria Ulloa. He did this to make sure walkways were safe for the dozens of children running around between the classrooms. Kanas, who is from Swamp Road in Dededo, said this is the second time he's been to a shelter during a storm. And like Soran, he said safety was his number one concern.

"I just come here because I'm thinking for my family," he said. Aside from safety, he came because Typhoon Dolphin was expected to be stronger than most of Guam's recent storms. "Because I stay on the ranch, so it's not like this, my house is only tin roof," he explained.

But aside from home safety, flooding also drew many others to seek shelter. A family at Wettengel Elementary spoke to KUAM News and said that their home in the Macheche area of Dededo had experienced severe flooding. Three of the family members decided to seek shelter at the school although several of their other family members decided to stay behind.

Iglesias said, "We would like our families to please to seek shelter as soon as possible and do not wait for the last moment."

At the latest count, there were over 1,000 people staying in eight shelters throughout the island.

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