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SANDY SAUNTERS ASHORE


 Utility crews were ready to roll Monday afternoon as winds began to pick up.
REZA MARVASHTI/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 10/30/2012

BY LINDLEY ESTES AND ROBYN SIDERSKY

Twelve-year-old Tatyana Nava and her best friend, Ti-Asia Allen, do just about everything together.

On Monday, that meant hanging out at the emergency shelter at King George County High School, awaiting the worst of Hurricane Sandy.

Tatyana's mom, Laura Ruiz, brought the two girls to the shelter, along with blankets, clothes, medicine, snacks, a laptop and DVDs.

Ruiz said their home is surrounded by large trees and they were worried about one falling. They also have a well and were worried about not having water if the power goes out.

"We're staying until it's over," Ruiz said.

Ruiz and the two girls were among a handful of residents who went to the shelter Monday. More were expected later, with forecasts calling for the storm to intensify overnight.

Most other area localities joined King George in opening emergency shelters Monday. About 50 people were at Westmoreland County's shelter at Washington & Lee High School by late afternoon; the director said most of them were from low-lying areas and had left their homes as a precaution.

Stafford's shelter had only two people and Spotsylvania's held only three. The city of Fredericksburg hadn't opened a shelter as of 6 p.m., but was prepared to do so if needed, police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3103 provided a dry spot for about 50 homeless men and women. The post serves breakfast each Monday to the area's chronically homeless. Volunteers didn't want to send the men and women into the storm, so the post stayed open through the night, serving lunch and dinner.

At the King George High shelter, cafeteria manager Bea Smith made chocolate chip cookies and the staff prepared a dinner of Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, green beans and cornbread.

"It's just to put people at ease," said Anita Davis, the school system's coordinator of cafeterias. "You can't make them less scared, but comfort food always makes me feel better."

Cafeteria staffers weren't the only ones working Monday afternoon because of Sandy.


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