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Hotels force evacuees out to honor game-day reservations

Posted at 11:11 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 10:22:59-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Before Hurricane Ida ravaged parts of Louisiana, local hotels like Wyndham Garden were busy booking rooms for this weekend's home game at FSU. Although some evacuees may not have a plan for where to go next, they told ABC 27 they have to be out by Friday.

We spoke with Randell Griffin shortly after his family of 15 plus took refuge in Tallahassee. They told hotel staff then, "We don't know how long we're going to stay here for," Griffin said.

It's a question now answered as they're being told to pack their bags to make room for game day guests.

"I feel like they're kind of pushing us out, a little bit. So it's like they haven't really wanted us to stay here," Griffin said.

While Billie Dolce had a different experience with hotel management, the Griffin family is definitely not alone in having to leave.

"We have to move out by Friday because of the big game," Dolce says. "But we asked [a manager] if we could come back, and she made it very easy for us to come back, and even have our same room, so we'll be back on Tuesday."

We reached out to the Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. Even they say they're limited in how they can help.

"Some of the other states, their Governors and their emergency managers have said yes we'll open shelters, but ours have not," said executive director Sharon Tyler.

Instead, they're doing what they can to help closer to the heart of the disaster.

"We're encouraging people to go back closer to their own homes like Louisiana or Mississippi," Tyler said.

Tyler adds they may be able to offer additional support to those who don't have means for transportation. The closest open Red Cross Shelter is about three hours away in Mobile, Ala.