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Ida evacuees wait for green light to go home

Posted at 4:23 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 16:23:39-04

TALLHAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The doors to this hotel are the closest thing many evacuees will have to call home for at least the next few days while they wait for the all-clear to head back to Louisiana after Hurricane Ida.

Randell Griffin and his family drove 13 hours to Tallahassee to steer clear of the storm.

"About 15 to 18 of us, so of course not the whole family, but the majority of us came together at least," Griffin said.

His and other families survived Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago to the day. They learned from that experience not to take any chances with Ida.

"Because of that experience back then, it drove us to leave the city when we realized it was going to be a Cat 3, and then possibly a 4, because our home was devastated in 2005," said evacuee Billie Dolce.

Both families hope to avoid returning to similar devastation, even though they've been warned of the worst.

"I just talked to my neighbor not too long ago, he was like everything in my neighborhood is not that bad, but in certain other neighborhoods, it's kinda bad," Griffin said.

"I talked with a girlfriend of mine who lives not too far from my house, and she said they were in darkness and they've been in darkness for a while," Dolce adds.

Both express gratitude for the kindness they've received during their stay so far in the Capital City, and ask that you extend the same to other evacuees as well.

"Keep everybody in prayers for Louisiana," Griffin said.

This evening, Wyndham Garden's Hotel manager told ABC27 they were down to around five rooms left for the night due to the number of evacuees occupying more than half of their available rooms.