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Hurricane Irene Evacuees Hole Up In Schools, 5-Star Hotels

Hurricane Irene 2011

BRUCE SHIPKOWSKI and JOSH LEDERMAN   08/28/11 12:58 AM ET   AP

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Evacuees from Hurricane Irene sought refuge any place they could: with friends and family, in churches and schools, at stadiums and universities – and even some five-star hotels.

As the first rain and winds of Irene hit coastal New Jersey on Saturday, Gov. Chris Christie introduced himself as Chris at a Rutgers University gym and encouraged residents to "hang in there."

The American Red Cross had well over 150 shelters open from North Carolina to Connecticut. More than 10,000 people in New Jersey and New York were at shelters Saturday night.

For those willing to fork over big bucks for a dry dwelling, ritzy hotels provided a luxurious alternative to improvised shelters. A double room with an interior view was going for $695 per night at The Ritz-Carlton New York.

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Filed by Joanna Zelman  |