ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WITN) - Shelters are now opening up in Onslow County to help hurricane victims.
Originally, the county had no shelters that could withstand Category 4 hurricane winds. But the county is now able to open shelters now that the storm has diminished.
The shelters will open at 2:00 p.m. They are at Swansboro High School, Dixon Middle School, and Jacksonville Commons Middle School.
The Jacksonville Commons site is pet-friendly and for people with special needs.
There is currently no public transportation to the shelters.
It was a mass exodus Wednesday morning in one Eastern Carolina county, as evacuees loaded on school buses to find a safer place to hunker down.
Some one-thousand Onslow County residents and their furry family members boarded buses that went to state-organized shelters in Knightdale Wednesday morning.
One of the two pick-up locations in the county was at Jacksonville Commons Middle School, where dozens of buses were lined up to take 250 people on 15 buses to the shelters.
Onslow County commissioners said the service was provided to help those who were unable to transport themselves.
Jacksonville residents say leaving home during such trying times is stressful, but they're hoping to be safe near Raleigh.
"I cried when I left my mom, because my mom was crying, because she wants me to be with her, but I just need to do what's good for me and for my cats to know that I'm safe with them, and it's hard to leave my family behind," said evacuee Paige Hart from Jacksonville.
About 200 residents followed the buses in their own vehicles to seek safety at the Wake County shelters.
County officials say they will provide transportation for their residents to re-enter the county, but those arrangements will be made later depending on road closures.
The county was forced to bus evacuees out of the county as none of their shelters can withstand Category 4 hurricane winds.