As local shelters set up to house those displaced by the ravages of Hurricane Sandy begin to close, hundreds of evacuees were moved to the giant tents erected at Monmouth Park for shelter on Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Toms River Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Paul Daley told Toms River Patch that the shelter at Toms River High School North's Pine Belt Arena began to break down Wednesday night.
Toms River Regional Schools have been closed throughout the storm response as two of their buildings are operating as shelters. But the district plans to reopen for school Monday, Nov. 12.
”Owners of the original shelters told us the needed to go back to normal business,” said Red Cross spokeswoman Anne Marie Borrego.
According to the article, about two dozen buses from Monmouth University brought evacuees -- many of them old and disabled -- to be sheltered at the racetrack site that consists of about a dozen giant white tents that are bolted to the ground. They were joined by evacuees from other local shelters, and Red Cross workers were told to expect up to 2,000 to arrive on Wednesday.
The "tent city" was erected to serve as staging and a hospitality site for the thousands of utility workers that have descended in Monmouth County to help restore power to residents following Hurricane Sandy.
Oceanport Mayor Michael Mahon told Patch that he anticipated the tents to remain up and running for a minimum of two more weeks.
In Toms River, approximately 1,000 evacuees were checked in the shelters since the storm response. Many barrier island residents remain homeless as access to the barrier island communities is still prohibited, with officials advising the rebuild effort there taking six to eight months.