Hurricane Ian evacuees having a hard time finding a place to stay

Posted at 7:39 PM, Sep 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-28 19:39:14-04

Several people have come to the Capital City to escape Hurricane Ian but had a hard time finding a place to stay.

"The only hotel left basically. We went online and called a bunch of hotels and I guess they did the search for us and this is the only one they could find," said Justin Strang.

Strang, his wife and two dogs are new to Florida. "As of six weeks ago, from Pennsylvania just moved to Port Charlotte and I was hoping to have a fresh new start here and been evacuated from Port Charlotte so we could come up to Tallahassee," said Strang.

This is Strang's first Hurricane experience. He is one of the many people evacuating who had a hard time finding a safe place to stay. Strang drove through the night to stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites off Railroad Avenue.

Leslie Lindley, the Marketing Director of Sales at the hotel, said they sold out of rooms overnight. Out of 124 rooms, 80 of them are filled with people from the storm. People who are evacuating the storm, first responders, utility crew workers, insurance companies and FEMA are at the hotel tonight. Lindley said it's been busy the last 24 hours but is glad to help where she can.

"I'm so glad the storm didn't come to Tallahassee that we can assist the people who are in Central Florida and South Florida and accommodate these guests as much as we can, putting them in any room times that we have available and just glad that we were able to make it work," said Lindley.

Many people traveling north are trying to stay at hotels off of the interstate. However, they're not having much luck. Places like the Best Western and Holiday Inn were also booked Wednesday night.

Preston Morgan and his wife decided to evacuate their home in Newport Tuesday night. He said it was difficult finding a hotel anywhere. "First we looked over around the Miami area, Ft Lauderdale, nothing's available. We looked down in Naples, nothing available there and so we were lucky to find this hotel available up here in Tallahassee," said Morgan.

He and his wife drove through the night and made it to the Country Inn and Suites off of I-10 at 3 a.m. Even though he's worried about what damage he might come home to, Morgan is excited to be in the Big Bend. "This is out first time to Tallahassee and so we're going to just spend some time looking around and looking at the sites here," said Morgan.

The Hampton Inn and Suites and Country Inn and Suites said they haven't seen any cancellations for those who are traveling for the Florida State football game this weekend.