COLUMBUS, Ga. — People looking to evacuate inland to the Chattahoochee Valley may be out of luck as all area hotels are booked up. The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau tells News 3 none of the hotels in our area or in the state have any availability.
Many hotel managers News 3 spoke with told us all of their locations are sold out not only here in Columbus, but in Phenix City too. Even Callaway Gardens is full. The Convention and Visitors Bureau is now recommending evacuees try hotels in Alabama.
Peter Bowden President and CEO for the Convention and Visitors Bureau is keeping a close eye on the path of Hurricane Irma.
“Hotels are beginning to report to us that they were filling up we obviously have a lot of business in town trade shows, meetings, and so forth but the hotels were telling us they were receiving calls from folks coming from Florida,” says Bowden.
Hotel staff tell News 3 Columbus is one of the first places Floridians look for shelter.
“They have to go somewhere and probably the more higher that they’re searching they’re probably not finding anything in Savannah so forth and so on so we’re next in line and they’re probably going to go even further, I can see them going all the way up to Tennessee,” says Chayla Branch.
Bowden says hotels across the state are at capacity. Visitors are now encouraged to look for hotels in Alabama.
“They’re telling us Georgia is almost at capacity so we’ll stay in constant communication with them. We are actually in the process of launching a special landing page on our website which is visit Columbus GA in order to provide the latest information,” says Bowden.
Hotels aren’t the only places that are sold out. The Home Depot in Columbus is already sold out of most hurricane preparedness items.
“We have a lot of people coming in asking for a lot of water, batteries, people are definitely ordering and trying to get generators right now temporarily we’re out in house of these items,” says Maurice Foster.
But there are still plenty of other ways you can prepare for the worst
“Everyone should be prepared whether it’s making sure they have a safely plan in place for their family, follow the directions that the consolidated government will issue out perhaps later on,” says Bowden.
If you are still looking for hurricane preparedness items, News 3 checked Wynnton Hardware in Columbus. They tell us, so far, they still have plenty of items to stock your emergency supply kits.