Hurricane evacuees find shelter in Chilton County

Published 3:13 pm Friday, September 8, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The threat of Hurricane Irma has brought many evacuees to Chilton County.

Hotels were filling up this week and some were at full capacity by the start of the weekend.

“I think every hotel in town is booked up,” Angie Wright, manager at Inn of Clanton, said.

All 70 rooms of the Inn were full on Sept. 8, with many of the guests planning on staying until Sept. 12.

The Holiday Inn Express had about 10 rooms left on Sept. 8, according to manager Debra James.

James said as the weather reports changed the projected path of the storm, some canceled their reservations, while others were walking into the hotel without reservations looking for a place to stay.

Wright said most of the guests were from Florida and Savannah, Georgia. People started calling to make reservations and booking rooms online for Inn of Clanton on Sept. 5 and started arriving on Sept. 7. James said people started coming in on Sept. 6, and most are staying into next week. She said some of the guests came in upset, but all are glad to have a place to stay.

Wright said it has been nonstop.

Wright described the evacuees as upbeat.

“I think they are just glad to be safe and have a place to stay,” Wright said.

Guests are staying updated with what the weather is doing in their hometowns.

Many of the guests at Inn of Clanton brought their pets with them. Wright said it was important for them to have their pets with them and Inn of Clanton is a pet-friendly hotel.

Both hotels have had to double up on some shifts to take care of all the guests.