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Annapolis High School Shelters 70 People, 8 Dogs and 2 Cats at Height of Irene

Homeless among those most appreciative.

Annapolis High School opened as a shelter at 1 p.m. Saturday—three hours ahead of schedule.

Hurricane Irene descended on the area, knocking out power for many residents well before the worst of the storm.

"Last night at the height, we had 70 people," said Steve Thompson, Batallion Chief of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department. "We also had a pet shelter there. We sheltered eight dogs and two cats."

This morning when Patch visited there were only about 10 people still in the shelter, a few of whom had no other place to go.

Maura Doucett is homeless. She had been in the woods in Glen Burnie, when she decided she couldn't take the pounding rain and relentless winds any longer.

"I was so soaked," she said. "I had called the Anne Arundel County Police. They gave me the number for Anne Arundel County Emergency Operations. They sent a van to pick me up."

Lee Madison also is homeless. He, too, was very thankful for the food and shelter.

Both indicated they were planning on spending the night again at Annapolis High School, if it's open.

"The shelter is going to be open until at least midnight," Thompson said. "We're not going to keep the shelter open if it's a minimal amount (of people)."

The building is currently operating on a generator, which doesn't supply lights to all areas being used. The auditorium, which has cots on the stage and throughout the seating areas, was not lit today.

Officials from the American Red Cross were on hand overseeing the shelter and providing medical assistance.

Patch was not permitted to take photos of people inside the shelter, but we were allowed to interview people outside and take photos of the facility itself, without people.

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