Hurricane Matthew Brings Evacuees to Big Bend

Big Bend Area Flooded by Evacuees Displaced by Hurricane Matthew
Posted at 6:49 PM, Oct 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-10 14:55:49-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- With Hurricane Matthew tearing through the East Coast, the Big Bend region was overwhelmed with people coming from other parts of the state, trying to find a place to stay.

Evacuees were worried about where they'd sleep, where to go for shelter, and whether or not they'd have a home to return to.

Marri and Phillip Reid weren't expecting to end up in Tallahassee, but they packed up their van with what they could and looked for shelter.

"All the way up 10, there are no hotels. They said the closest -- if there is even any then -- is in New Orleans," said Marri Reid.

They're just some of many scrambling for help.

Palm Coast resident Karen Crona said, "We slept in the car last night, because we couldn't find anything. We went all the way up into Georgia, made a circle, came back and now we're going to the west."

At the Flying J gas station in Midway, the parking lot was packed with people. Midway police said cars and RV's have been out here since Thursday night, with many of them having to sleep because hotels were booked all around the area.

The Red Cross is doing what it can to help. So far, opening more than 100 shelters statewide with over 25,000 people in those shelters overnight.

Shelters in Tallahassee reached capacity, too.

"They tried to find room for us, but they're all full, so they just recommended us to stay in the car and sleep in the car," said Lodi Alst from Jacksonville.

The Red Cross opened another shelter in Tallahassee, with at least 150 people still in need locally.