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Mayor Jerry Sanders said the city will stop using Qualcomm Stadium as an emergency shelter beginning at noon tomorrow.
He said the behemoth Mission Valley facility was no longer needed for the small number of evacuees who remained, and that the stadium lacked a roof and shower facilities to be a useful shelter. The remaining evacuees would be funneled to the Del Mar Fairgrounds or a shelter nearer to their residences, Sanders said.
Sanders said the stadium was available to house the Chargers game against the Houston Texans this Sunday. But the team has not yet decided whether it will play at Qualcomm, citing concerns about air quality and the diversion of public safety workers away from the fires, the mayor said.
Earlier today, the stadium was emptying of evacuees.
I, literally, searched around the stadium for bona-fide refugees. I spoke to a few. A couple of people outside the stadium told me they could no longer get into the stadium. One of them was visibly drunk.
One family told me they had been told Qualcomm was closing down tomorrow, but that they had been told of a few other places they could go. They were headed to The Rock Church, they said.
Then I stood at the entrance and watched a few people trickling in. I saw several people filling out forms to be allowed into the building. They all got in.
I spoke to Conrad DeCastro, a police officer at the gate. He said plenty of people have been showing up at Qualcomm who aren’t actually refugees at all.
But DeCastro said at no point has he been turning people away. At no point today was Qualcomm closed, he said.