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Qualcomm evacuees down to 50

Two busloads of evacuees left Qualcomm Stadium for the Del Mar Fairgrounds by 8 a.m. Friday, leaving fewer than 50 evacuees.

A certain weariness has set in among the evacuees, many of whom face the prospect of returning to a burned-out home.

"I feel like I've been run over by a Mack truck. I'm bothered by this whole situation," said one woman from Ramona who declined to give her name.

"It's amazing how quickly this place emptied out," said San Diego City Councilman Jim Madaffer, surveying the scene of sleeping bags, cots and blankets. "I think a lot of these people are just tired of sleeping outdoors."

Some evacuees complained Thursday night about the need for more blankets as temperatures dropped. Madaffer said the fairgrounds is better for indoor accommodations.

The acupuncture and massage stand that had accommodated evacuees was being transformed into a garlic-fries and beer stand in preparation for Sunday's expected Chargers vs. Houston Texans NFL game. City workers were painting the end zones and yard markers.

As evacuees loaded crates of water onto buses, volunteer packed blankets and supplies onto trucks to be taken to other shelters.

Kimmi Moto, an evacuee from Ramona, checked the update board to see if it was safe to go back home. She discovered that water service is still not available in that rural community.

"I guess we'll have to go to Del Mar," she said. "I'd rather not, but I still don't have a home yet."

--Dave McKibben


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