Janet Weinstein/ABC News(NEW YORK) — There’s an unfortunate sense of déjà vu. With powerful Hurricane Matthew tracking up the East Coast, the Williams family of Charleston, SC are somber as they pile onto a bus and head to a shelter in their newly adopted home.
Originally from Long Beach, NY, the family of three spent two to three months hopping from shelters to hotels because their home there was destroyed.
“We’ve been here before and I just don’t want to be negative about it,” Tyeshia Williams tells ABC News. “I feel like we can work through this like we did with Sandy,”
Tyeshia is 17 and the oldest child. She says she likes Charleston because she’s been given a lot of opportunities, so is trying to stay optimistic.
“I’m scared, but not. I feel like we’ll have a lot of support and that we’ll be able to stay strong through this,” she says. Her younger brother, Tyreese, is more nervous. He was 8 years old when Sandy hit and is 11 now. The whole situation is a lot to take in.
“I don’t want to lose everything again,” he told ABC News.
The Williamses were some of the first evacuees from Charleston, setting up camp in a local elementary school shelter on Wednesday. The storm is expected to impact the area early Saturday morning.
“Last night was actually a success because we actually were able to sleep on cots for the first time,” Tyeshia Williams told ABC News. “The first night we actually were on the floor. I mean it was kind of tough, but we made it through.”
The Red Cross says it wasn’t able to provide cots the first day shelters were opened because there were most evacuees than anticipated at the time.
For now, the Williams’ plan is to ride out the storm by playing on their phones, talk to others in the shelter and color in coloring books, brought by little cousin, Destiny Snider. Snider, 8, has been helping to keep spirits high.
“I can’t wait for the hurricane to come!” Destiny Snider squeals in delight. “I hope I get to see the eye in real life.”
Tyeshia smiles when she hears Destiny say this. “We’re all in this together,” says Tyeshia. “I just trying to keep a positive mind.”
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