MOBILE, Ala (WKRG) — Majority of the hotels and motels in the Mobile metro area are booked for the weekend. A large number of evacuees from Florida are coming to Mobile to wait out Hurricane Irma. News 5 spoke with the manager at the Marriott Hotel on Airport Boulevard about the impact.
General manager, John Mcauliffe says nearly 90 percent of the guest this weekend are evacuees from Florida. Mcauliffe says the hotel accepts pets and has extra supplies on standby to handle the large number of evacuees. Mcauliffe says most hotels in Birmingham and Atlanta are also booked for the weekend.
News 5 spoke with a couple who arrived in Mobile Thursday after traveling from Bonita Springs, Florida. The couple arrived with their dog Jackson and checked into the Marriott Thursday afternoon. John MacGregor and Christen Wehmeyer said it took them 17 hours to get to Mobile from Bonita Springs. The trip usually only takes 9 hours.
The couple says they were stuck in stand still traffic for hours starting in Tampa. When the couple had to stop to get gas, they had to wait an hour just the fill up their tanks. They also had to make an unexpected stop to take a nap around 2:00 a.m. Wednesday in a Verizon store parking lot because they needed the rest. The couple originally tried to stay in Tallahassee, but I had to come to Mobile because all the hotels there were booked.
MacGregor and Wehmeyer are originally from Portland, Oregon and say they have never experienced a hurricane. MacGregor says they have concerns of what could happen to their home in Bonita Springs, “We’re pretty far inland from the ocean and the beach, but we don’t have flood insurance. So we’re a little concerned the flooding could be an issue.”
Most hotels News 5 spoke to say they are accepting pets. The Hilton Inn in downtown Mobile assures guest they are not hiking their rates. The hotel manager also says they are giving out free water and bread to people who need it.
The Grounds based out of Mobile is offering RV/Camper spots to evacuees on 160 of its sites.