The American Red Cross worked with state and East Providence officials to make a last-minute decision to open a shelter at the on Waterman Avenue.
Volunteers from the American Red Cross, who officially opened the shelter at 4 p.m., have unloaded trucks of food and are awaiting truckloads of bottled water and military-style cots for any displaced people in the community.
On-site Coordinator Phyllis Stafford said they are expecting anywhere between 60 and 100 people to arrive at the shelter.
East Providence High School was the first choice for the shelter because it has the capacity to hold hundreds, according to East Providence Facilities Manager Ed Caletti, but the $6 million renovation project made it impossible.
Caletti said workers have been working on the project around-the-clock in order to get it ready for the first day of school, Sept. 8.
"It was a last-minute decision to have it here," Caletti said.
"This is the only one we have right now and the reason being is we can set up a generator here," Caletti added. "We were going to use the Riverside Library, but we didn't have a way to power up the generator there."
Stafford said the high school did not meet all the criteria that has to be met in order to open a shelter, but he is happy with the senior center because it has a cafeteria, a room for men, a room for women and is "beautiful."