Valdosta Hotels Welcome Ernesto Evacuees

By Ben Wolf
August 29, 2006

Local hotel employee Brandy Wasick is busy on the phone.

"A lot of people called to say pretty much that they were going to cancel, but they wanted to make sure that they had their rooms just in case this hurricane hit they'd have a room to stay in."

Jasmine Hampton says reservations at her hotel are a different story.

"Most of them were made yesterday morning. That's when I found out about the storm. Most are evacuating today and tomorrow."

While many hotel employees at exit 18 in Valdosta say they are anticipating a lot of guests because of the storm, many others say they don't think Ernesto packs enough punch to make that happen.

"There's a lot of hotels between here and there and we don't anticipate any overrun of people here.”

That logic doesn't make sense to Florida evacuees already in Valdosta.

"We feel that if you are able to leave early you should just in case."

"We're on our 50th wedding anniversary. We were debating whether to take a trip or not and we got notice that the hurricane and they said it was coming straight up the central part of Florida, so we said we're going to take the trip now.”

No matter the reason, Valdosta welcomes anyone hoping to avoid Ernesto. There are still hotel rooms available in the Valdosta area for evacuees.