Some people went to stay with family and friends. But for other evacuees -- including people from several hotels near Grande Stadium -- it was time to go to a shelter. And after some confusion with the Midland Center, the Horseshoe Arena was deemed a shelter.
"It holds a capacity of 2,000 people," said Midland County Judge Mikde Bradford.
Marilyn Harmon was one of the first to be evacuated. She was working in a day care when the smell of smoke became stronger.
"We were just grateful to get all the kids out," said Harmon. "All the staff and everyone was safe."
It was a scary day for Harmon, and the dozens of others who flooded the shelter, not knowing what they would be returning to.
"It is not an event where you want to play around with someone's feelings or mood," said Judge Bradford.
Judge Bradford, along with the Red Cross, reassured the evacuees that everything would be OK -- noting that even the Texas Forest Service turned back around.
"They left town this morning," said Judge Bradford. "And when they heard there was a fire, 30 units turned around."
But for Harmon, she couldn't help but worry.
"Just see people coming in and wondering if you're going to have a home to go to," said Harmon.
Amazingly, despite all these evacuations, not a single home was damaged by the CEED Fire. In fact, Judge Bradford told Sheriff Gary Painter that the Permian Basin dodged a bullet -- especially when you think about how bad the weather conditions were.
Jackie Smith can reached at email@example.com.