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|Vidalia Convention Center on alert for possibly hurricane evacuees|
Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland has put city officials on alert to prepare the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center as a possible evacuation point if Gustav reaches and maintains hurricane strength and aims for the state.
"I have already called (Fire Chief) Jack Langston and (Vidalia Conference and Convention Center director) H.L. Irvin and put them both on notice to get the Center prepared in case we have to use it as a Red Cross evacuation center," Copeland said. "The center is 95 percent complete and just needs some touch-up work. But we are prepared to utilize it. I am very concerned about the storm. Once it gets in the gulf, you never know, but we seem to be a prime target."
The second phase of the Vidalia Conference and Convention including the 14,000-square foot shelter for evacuees in case of an emergency.
Vidalia received a federal grant of $1.7 million for the expansion of the center. It will accommodate approximately 500 evacuees.
"We have contacted the American Red Cross and they are preparing to bring bedding, cots, food and etc.," Copeland said. "We have two full kitchens and showers, along with air conditioning. And all of our people are Red Cross certified."
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