AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Not all evacuees will go to the shelter. Those without medical needs who left on their own have booked stays at local hotels. Some are already sold out for the rest of the week as evacuees find safety in the CSRA.
Rhonda Haynes, from New Smyrna Beach, FL is one of those who sought shelter in Augusta.
“We are right on the coast,” she told NewsChannel 6. “There’s nothing east of us but water.”
Hurricane Dorian pushed this Florida family from their beach area home to the Garden City, for now.
“I brought sever days worth of clothing, I prayed and we left,” said Rhonda Haynes, who was preparing to depart from Augusta to travel to Atlanta with her husband James and son.
All of them made the drive from the Sunshine State and found Hampton Inn and Suites, a place of refuge for many others in Dorian’s path.
“We did all the sand bag preparations, got everything off the wall, put everything into the interior of the home, preparing for a lot of rain, wind and flooding,” their son Carlus Haynes, of Orlando, told us.
Hampton Inn started seeing people ordered to leave their Georgia and South Carolina homes arrive Monday morning.
Joey Collins, Executive House Keeper at Hampton Inn and Suites, said “Starting tomorrow we will be 100 percent full and it’s mostly evacuees. You can look at the reservations and tell where they are coming from.”
Savannah, Tybee Island, and Charleston are just a few of those places.
“Well, we have kin folk here and I was originally scheduled to be in a bowling tournament this weekend,” James Haynes said of their decision to stay in Augusta.
For the Haynes family, it was their first stay at the hotel. Last year, evacuees made their way their too, with their pets, to escape Hurricane Florence. This time was no different.
“If they say you need to leave, I think you ought to leave,” said James Haynes. “It’s nothing that you can’t replace. You can’t replace your life so.”
We spoke with Hampton Inn and Suites Manager David Przedecki and he does plan to allow pets again and a chance for evacuees to eat. He shared:
“We will be offering complimentary evening managers reception starting Tuesday through Thursday from 5p-7p for our guests. To include appetizers, both hot and cold, along with adult beverages and non alcoholic beverages.
We have waived our no pet policy and will be accepting a max of two dogs per room with a small pet fee.
Our breakfast has been upgraded with a large variety of choices to include smoothies, pressed juices, flavored waffles and plenty of other items.”
We checked in at the Crowne Plaza and staff there is awaiting evacuees. They’ve waived pet and cancellation fees this week.