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City of Prince George: “Our number one priority is to welcome evacuees and help them”

As it gears up to host hundreds of people evacuated from the Cariboo, the City of Prince George is repeating a message – please do not bring donations to the emergency centres.

“In terms of actually bringing physical donations here to the reception center, we’re not really set up for that,” says Rob van Adrichem, Director of External Relations for the city. “Our number one priority here is to welcome the evacuees from the Cariboo and help them.”

Instead, the City is encouraging residents to donate to the Canadian Red Cross’ BC Wildfire campaign.

Offers of accommodation can also be posted on the City’s facebook page.

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Van Adrichem says the first stop for evacuees should be CNC.

“It’s our main center so people go there, basically to welcome them to Prince George and to address the particular needs that they might have, to register and then from there, if they require lodging, then they’ll be assigned either the CNC gym, the Northern Sports Center or PGSS. They need to go to CNC – that is the first priority. It’s really conveniently located there because they’re right on Highway 97 there, really close to the intersection with Highway 16 for those people coming in from the east of Prince George.”

More than 800 people have already arrived at the City’s emergency operation centres. The other two are at the Northern Sport Centre and PGSS.

Van Adrichem says he’s very proud of the local response.

“It’s great to see. The public facilities in town – the University steps up immediately. PGSS were there today to set up beds. We’re calling them basically at midnight – ‘Can we can we get in there?’ ‘Yup – we’ll be there!’ At 5 in the morning. People are doing whatever it takes. It’s terrific.”

YMCAs across the province are also opening their doors to evacuees.

Locations in Kamloops, Kelowna, Vancouver, Victoria and right here in Prince George are offering showers and space to decompress as well as access to their recreation facilities.

Evacuees just need to bring identification that includes their home address.

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