The Tyler Junior College shelter for special needs patients is open, according to the shelter management team.

Oakwood Manor Nursing Home in Vidor and Magnolia Manor Nursing Home in Groves are both being moved to the TJC campus at this time.

The two nursing homes will be carrying around 140 patients with 80 staff members.

This will be the second time this year these facilities have been evacuated to Tyler Junior College.

Police Chief Randy Melton said they were notified of the mandatory evacuation for Jefferson and Orange counties at 9a.m. and had the shelter set up in the Gentry Gymnasium inside the Ornelas Health and Physical Education Center by 11a.m.

Members of the TJC EMS and nursing crews will be on hand to assist the staff in getting the evacuees inside the shelter.

Melton said one key challenge the team is facing during the Ike evacuation is many people are evacuating from the coast at this time. This is creating a longer travel time for the patients, making the unloading process for the patients a delicate process.

Patients will begin arriving Thursday afternoon and finish arriving early Friday morning.

According to the National Weather Service at 1p.m. Thursday, Ike is expected to make landfall near Brazoria County sometime overnight Friday into early Saturday morning.

Here in East Texas, tropical storm force winds and heavy rainfall possible as the storm moves inland.

The following are a list of closings and changes released by the college as of 9p.m. Thursday:

The class changes/cancellations are as follows:

? Students taking any health and kinesiology credit classes inOrnelas HPE Center should check their Apache Access accounts for emailedupdates from their instructors regarding specific class relocations

? The marching band will practice in the Apache Rooms in RogersStudent Center 8-9 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 8-9:40a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays

? Apache Punch drumline will practice 9-10 a.m. Monday-Friday in theApache Rooms in Rogers Student Center

? Dance classes and “Nutcracker” ballet rehearsals will be heldin Wise Auditorium or in Fine Arts Room 104, which is adjacent to theauditorium

? Continuing Education aquatics and fitness classes will be cancelledtoday through Sunday, Sept. 14

? All traffic to the Apache Belles studio and the band hall will befrom the external entrance and no one will move through the separatordoors inside Ornelas HPE Center.

As of Thursday, the ACT college entrance exam set for Saturday on the TJCcampus is scheduled to go on as planned.

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