Hurricane Matthew evacuees pack Atlanta hotels

Evacuees taking shelter in metro Atlanta

ATLANTA -- Evacuees from Florida, South Carolina, and Southeast Georgia are packing hotels throughout metro Atlanta.

Thousands of people plan to call Atlanta home for at least a few days as Hurricane Matthew batters the east coast.

Exits off I-75 North in Georgia are a little busier this week.

“I knew it was coming,” said Lisa Wilhelm who evacuated South Carolina.

South Georgians were also ready.

“Left this morning,” said Robert and Patti Wilmott who evacuated Savannah.

PHOTOS: S.C. evacuates from Hurricane Matthew

International travelers in the area immediately sought Atlanta as refuge.

“What’s the nearest safe place? Atlanta,” said David Woodey,from Ontario, Canada.

Exit 233 in Clayton County is littered with hotels and now they’re all full.

“We don’t get hurricanes in Canada so much,” said Woodey.

“Traveling from Florida to Kentucky,” said Jon Lehr.

“Got here yesterday afternoon,” said Albert Litster. “Came from Sun City, Hilton Head."

Metro Atlanta is packed full of evacuees as Hurricane Matthew barrels toward the east coast.

License plates from South Carolina, southeast Georgia, and Florida fill the parking lots.

“I’m worried I am going to come home to a flood or busted windows or no electricity,” said Wilhelm.

Litster said he's concerned to come home to even worse.

PHOTOS: Coastline prepares for Hurricane Matthew

“I’m worried we’re going to be going home to a wreck or a roof off the house or something,” he said.

Some had to abandon their vacation even after making the long drive from Canada.

“We were supposed to be going on a cruise out of Port Canaveral, hotel in Port Canaveral said don’t come,” Woodey said.

And for those visiting Mickey in Orlando, Disney shut its doors.

“We finally made the decision to find a hotel and leave a day early,” one evacuee said.

They are all calling Atlanta home for now, safely away from the storm - at least for a few days.

“We’re just happy we got out when we did,” another evacuee said.

“Property we can replace, we can’t replace ourselves," Litster said. "We may be getting old but we still love our life, man.”

For those people who are making last minute decision to evacuate, hotel rooms will be hard to find.

Georgia’s state parks are open to evacuees as is the campground at Atlanta Motor Speedway. 

PHOTOS: Hurricane Matthew

(© 2017 WXIA)


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