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Updated: Thursday, 08 Sep 2011, 7:20 PM CDT
Published : Thursday, 08 Sep 2011, 7:58 AM CDT
BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) - The plug has been pulled on a new, long-term shelter set to open Thursday for people displaced by the Bastrop fires.
At a meeting Wednesday evening with Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald and other officials, the plug was pulled on the decision to consolidate all shelters to the First Baptist Church New Extension on State Highway 71 not too far from Cedar Creek.
Officials said the site simply isn't ready and that there is an immediate need to get all evacuees out of Bastrop Middle School, which has served as a shelter throughout the past several days.
Officials found out at 5 p.m. Wednesday there was an issue with the air conditioning at First Baptist. They thought they could get it fixed but did not know until later in the night that they would be unable to fix it.
Meanwhile, all evacuees are being diverted to:
View Bastrop shelters consolidated in a larger map
The plan is to start moving people from Bastrop Middle School and the Bastrop Christian Outreach Church beginning at 9:30 a.m. over to the two different churches.
It is still a long-term goal to consolidate all shelter locations into the First Baptist Church New Extension. Officials are still determining when that will happen.
People spent the last 24 hours transforming the building into a shelter. It was full of stuff, but crews emptied it, the floors were power-washed Wednesday and they got the air conditioning going.
H-E-B brought a food truck in, cable company crews worked to hook up television and Wi-Fi and Verizon got a cell phone charging station up and running.
Shelter coordinator Don Nichols said the outporing of help has been tremendous.
"A few days ago, I was really worried about whether I was going to have a house or not and whether I was going to have to evacuate. And the next thing I know, my pastor called me and said, 'You need to do this, this and this,' and I've been doing it ever since," said Nichols.
Meanwhile, cots and clothes were reportedly taken to the shelter Wednesday night. KXAN News has not had a chance to get a look inside Thursday morning, as there is a security guard keeping people out until the people in charge arrive.
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