Laura Cobb says It doesn't look good. But then again she can't see much. Too many people are blocking the television set up in a corner of Germain Area. Cobb is 80 years old and confined to a wheelchair these days.
She arrived at the arena Saturday afternoon, just after the doors opened. More than 50 people were with Cobb as she waited at the doors of the arena. During the past 24 four hours the arena's population has ballooned to more than 2,000, making it harder for Cobb to get around. She was given a wheelchair shortly after she arrived here. Her foot was swelling because she had a bad fall earlier this week. It's the same foot that was crushed in an car accident that killed her husband, George, more than 20 years ago.
Evacuees at Germain Arena, a designated Red Cross shelter, are given white wristbands. Those requiring special care, like Cobb, recieve bright green ones and they fill the hallways of the arena. They come in wheelchairs, some carry oxygen tanks, some are just elderly and can't get around like they used to. They have special needs and the Lee County shelter designated to care for them at is full.
Pottorf Elementary in Fort Myers could only hold about 200 people, says Lin Jensen, a registered nurse and Red Cross volunteer. Volunteers and first responders at Germain Arena will now have to care for them.
Cobb may not be able to see much from her wheelchair, but she is still in the place to be.
They congregate around the televisions here in Germain Arena. Waiting for the latest updates from local newscasts and trying to determine if they are in Hurricane Wilma's path. If the latest advisory is correct, they'll find out in less than 12 hours. It's 8:45 p.m.