March 6, 2013
People without power in Greene County had a warm place to stay at Ruckersville Elementary Wednesday. The school was transformed into an emergency shelter, stocked with enough cots, blankets, food and water for more than 100 people.
The shelter opened at 1 p.m. Throughout the afternoon, some people stopped by just to charge their cell phones or warm up before heading home to see if they were still in the dark.
"We went home to see if the power was on, stayed for a while and decided to come on back," said Greene County resident Novella Jefferson.
Jefferson and her two nephews loaded up their laptops, some movies and books to pass the time.
The school also became a home away from home for Beverly Heroy and her granddaughters. Staying at the shelter wasn't how Heroy imagined spending her 70th birthday, but she says, with two young kids and zero power at home, the shelter was the best place to be.
"Normally my husband and I would tough it out at home just being by ourselves," said Heroy. "But since we have the children...we have to think about their welfare and their safety."
Volunteers say, while most people prefer to be in their own homes, they are more than prepared for a crowd.
"Most people love their own bed, even if it's cold. They won't come out. But I just encourage them to come on because we're here and this is the purpose for us to be here -- so they can come out and stay warm," said shelter manager Isaac Strother.
Strother says there are enough supplies at the shelter to last two to three days.