P.G. Expecting to House More Evacuees
Prince George, B.C. – The City of Prince George has already provided group lodging for more than 150 evacuees and expects to receive more.
Initial indications are that a further 25 to 50 evacuees will be arriving today, and Chris Duffy of Emergency Management B.C. says the number of evacuees heading to P.G. could be as high as 2700. “We’re going to be able to handle that, no question” says Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall “We have locations that are lined up to be activated.”
As of this morning, 88 people had stayed in the group lodging set up at CNC, another 67 had been billeted, and 14 were staying in RVs in the CNC parking lot.
In addition to those who are heading to P.G. from the Cariboo, there are a number of folks who had been in town for a major convention, who are not able to head south to get home. Those who came to the convention in RV’s, have been allowed to set up in Exhibition Park. Those convention attendees who are not able to head home, and are in need of assistance, are asked to visit the emergency reception centre at CNC to request service.
So far, 150 beds have been set up at CNC, a further 190 have been set up at the Northern Sport Centre. The City has already distributed $17,752 dollars worth of grocery vouchers in addition to the food being provided at both CNC and the Northern Sport Centre.
Mayor Hall has been talking with some of the evacuees, “It is absolutely heart wrenching” says Mayor Hall “They talk about the evacuation process and having to leave behind homes and family in various parts of the Cariboo, I was with a family yesterday I just happened to see them registering and poor mom was absolutely devastated.”
Mayor Hall says helping evacuees deal with the emotional impact of the circumstances is part of the emergency planning “Our emergency operations team includes a vast array of people. We reach out and we are going to be able to provide medical services, pharmaceutical services, social services that whole realm of need is going to be met. The other piece of this is that the people who doing the registering have been trained to handle these kinds of situations and they do a remarkable job.”
While people in Prince George want to help out, offers of food, clothing and other items can’t be accepted right now, that is why the City is encouraging those who want to make a donation to do so by giving to the British Columbia Fires Appeal with the Canadian Red Cross.
Residents wishing to provide accommodation for a person or family often do so via social media, including by posting on the City’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cityofpg.