Newspaper: The Evening Sentinel
Date: April 2, 1979
Title: Evacuees Settle in at Hershey
Author: George Lobsenz, United Press International
HERSHEY-The hockey scoreboard loomed incongruously over the piles of pinkish-grey blankets and rows of canvas fold-out cots as Majette Willie wearily watched her three fidgety kids kick around a balloon.
After 24 mostly sleepless hours, Willie, 35, Middletown, had lost most of the fear that had driven her to call Hersheypark arena home.
But as she watched Gov. Dick Thornburgh and Lt. Gov. William Scranton III and their wives make their way through 50-odd pregnant women and pre-schoolers, she exuded a mixture of relief, resignation and thoughtfulness over what federal officials have called the country’s worst nuclear accident.
“I’m glad I came here,” she said, two days after Thornburgh recommended that all pregnant women and young children within five miles of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant evacuate.
“IT’S BEEN a relief to get my children away from there. Even if its just psychological, I feel I can breathe a bit easier,” she said.
At the same time, she reflected on a small irony that revealed “just how much we all have to learn” about the relative dangers of nuclear power.
“Just three weeks ago I decided not to put in a microwave oven because I had heard it gave off radiation. But I hadn’t even thought about the plant-and I only live about three miles away,” she added.
Nevertheless, she said she would not think about moving away from Three Mile Island.
“Where are we going to run away to? There’s nuclear power everywhere you go.”
Marlene Schierscher, 42, of Middletown shushed her little boy and girl and agreed.
“There’s nuclear plants all over the place. You’re not going to get away from it,” she said.
FURTHERMORE, she said she approved of nuclear power and said the country could not get along without it.
Thornburgh, who ordered the shelters for pregnant women and children set up at Hershey and York, thanked the evacuees for their cooperation and “moral fiber.”
Others at the arena did not share Shierscher’s and Willie’s good-natured acceptance of the Three Mile Island situation and the inevitability of nuclear power.
Harriet Baylor, 28, of Middletown said she wanted to move away from the plant.
“I want to leave. The next time this happens we may not make it to shelter. It’s just like the Bible says, man is going to end up destroying himself.”