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Red Cross staffs 4 shelters

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Local American Red Cross shelters housed as many as 415 people during the peak of Hurricane Ivan.
The Community Church of christ in Brewton was the first area shelter to open its doors at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Shelters were later opened at W.S. Neal Elementary School and Brewton Elementary School. An area shelter also was opened in Pollard. Of those shelters, the one at Brewton Elementary was the only one still open on Friday.
While most of the people who checked in at area shelters arrived prior to Hurricane Ivan, some have checked in after the storm.
Martin indicated there have been approximately 45 volunteer workers at the shelter sites. She also said workers are still needed both now and in the future.
Two of the workers at the Brewton Elementary site, Bob Brinkman and wife Yvonne Brinkman, came to Brewton all the way from Austin, Minn. Bob Brinkman is a disaster chairman for the national chapter of the American Red Cross. The Brinkmans are on a three-week assignment in this area.
This is the first national assignment for the Brinkmans, although not the first for their local chapter of Mower County.
Ironically, soon after the Brinkmans were assigned to Alabama, their home area was plagued by flooding after a 12-inch rain. Red Cross workers were then assigned to assist in that area.
While most of the people who have checked into local shelters are from this area, some from outside the area were forced to seek protection from Ivan.
Those staying at the shelters are given three meals a day. Snacks are provided if available.
Martin said there are plans to have a meal truck bring additional supplies, although there is no guarantee.