High school gym transformed into shelter from Hurricane Ian in Osceola County

Hurricane shelters began filling up across Central Florida on Wednesday afternoon. Around 80 people gathered at Celebration High School.

"I was sitting in my mobile home, and it was swaying back and forth, and it was starting to leak from the roof it’s just not a safe place to be," one person told FOX 35 News. 

School officials transformed the gymnasium into a shelter space. Fabian Gamboa said he grabbed whatever he could before leaving his home.

"Passport, IDs," Gamboa explained. "My brother did pass away from cancer four years ago and the thing that’s most important to me is the picture of my brother… so you just have to grab what you can."

"We’re getting residents that are homeless and just trying to find a way out of the storm," said volunteer Conner Gilbert. "We have tourists that are here, just trying to find a safe place to ride it out this is something they’ve never experienced." 

Some donated blankets, pillows, and towels to help make the shelter stay more comfortable. Lori Uptown said, "I had a bunch extra, so I want to help out and give someone a good night's sleep."

"This shelter is really helpful to a lot of people. Everything is shut down," Dontay Hall told us.

Those seeking shelter were wondering how long they will be hunkering down there. "Maybe tomorrow night, Friday morning. I honestly don’t know. We’re not too sure," Gamboa said.

Volunteers said they will not lock out anyone needing assistance – everyone is invited at any time. 

As of 10:30 p.m., volunteers said Kissimmee Middle School's power went out and is running on a generator.