Rink Filling Up

Live from Germain Arena

Coinciding with the end of the early NFL football games, the flow of people coming into Germain Arena intensified as Hurricane Wilma drew closer.

There were more than 1,400 people inside the home of the ECHL's Florida Everblades, and where normally you would see a 200-by-85-foot sheet of ice and two hockey nets, in their place were pop-up tents, air mattresses, sleeping bags and scores of adults and children trying to make their little corner of the rink feel as close to home as possible.

Baby swings were in use, portable televisions were tuned to either the Philadelphia Eagles-San Diego Chargers game, The Weather Channel or the local news, and people were just trying to get comfortable while at the same time hoping for a quick end to this ordeal.

Evacuation buses delivering people from Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva Islands and Bonita Beach continue to arrive, and the influx of evacuees is expected to pick up pace as the day progresses.

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