Evacuation center in Grants Pass

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — People in the Rogue Valley are continuing to leave their home as evacuation notices get sent out for the Garner Complex and Taylor Creek fire. Many people have have family and friends that they can stay with but some are left to rely on shelters.

The American Red Cross has provided a shelter in Grants Pass for those evacuees who don’t have a place to go once they receive the level three “Go” notification.

Peter Sedlow and his wife had been under a level two notice for one week before they received their final “Go” notification. Sedlow said they had prepared to evacuate.

“All we could do was put everything in the can that needed to be in the van that was important to our history and who we are and bring it with us,” Peter Sedlow, resident of Grants Pass, said. “Everything else, they’re things we can get again.”

The Sedlow’s were as prepared as they could be however, they didn’t have a place to go once they received the level three notice.

“We have a minivan and we though we were going to have to stay in the front of the van and live there for the next several days,” he said.

They’ve been at the Red Cross shelter at Grants Pass High School since Saturday.

“We heard about the Red Cross in Grants Pass and we didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “But we came here, we were thinking maybe there would be a cot for us and maybe a roof for us but these people have been incredible.”

The shelter provides many things for evacuees like cots, three meals a day from local restaurants as well as the most up to date information on the surrounding fires.

Franca Hernandez, American Red Cross, said they do their best to provide a worry free environment for those staying at the shelter.

“They don’t have to worry where they’re going to sleep, they don’t wave to worry about food 24 hours, they don’t have to worry about not having someone to share information with, we will listen to them,” Hernandez said.

All of this support makes Sedlow and his wife feel grateful for the Red Cross.

“They’re just amazing and they’re very gracious.”

Blakely McHugh is a weather forecaster and reporter for NBC5 News. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA.

Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors.

Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “Hi!”

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