Hurricane Matthew evacuees arrive in Sumter County

AMERICUS, Ga- People in the Americus area say they are ready to help their neighbors who might have to come here seeking solace from Hurricane Matthew. For one thing, the Sumter Humane Society is a designated pet shelter for storm evacuees

“In case of emergency, I set aside so many pens and kennels, that if people are displaced, and I know that we have got  people here in Americus already that have come from the storm regions, and we have space available to keep their pets while they are here,” says Ruth Nelson, Director of the Sumter Humane Society.

That means guests staying in hotels with no pet policies are able to board their animals at the Sumter Humane Society for free.

Meanwhile, if hotel rooms in Americus looked packed, they are.  Local hotel rooms are at full capacity.

“Our hotels in Americus and Sumter County are completely booked-up. The evacuees are having to come further and further inland because all of the major metros in the state of Georgia are pretty full. So, they’re coming off the beaten path, off I-75, off 19, 41; they’re coming down to us,” says Nicole Thurston, Director of Tourism for Americus and Sumter County.

Since emergency shelters in Georgia that are already open have not filled to capacity, there are no plans as of yet to open an emergency shelter in the Sumter County area.

“Should that need arise, though, Sumter County will take a stand and open a shelter, should that need arise,” says Nigel Poole, Emergency Management Director, in Sumter County.

Some businesses here in downtown Americus are offering discounts and other specials to those people in town because they’ve been displaced by Hurricane Matthew.

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