DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Wiregrass has already begun to prepare for the incoming evacuees the storm will likely bring.
“Our biggest concern here in the Wiregrass, Houston County area will be the influx of people,” Houston County EMA Director, Chris Judah said. “The traffic load we will encounter will be high. Our hotels, our resources, restaurants, and things of that nature are going to be filled up quickly.”
Grocery stores also are beginning to see an increase in customers.
The Hometown Food Center in Headland has purchased extra shipments of water and non-perishable items, such as potted meat and canned goods
A shipment was delivered on Monday, with another shipment set to be delivered on Wednesday.
“Mainly this morning,” Hometown Food Center, Owner Jai Freeman said. “We have seen an influx of it. People just want to get ahead of the storm and make sure that they are prepared. Which we want to be able to satisfy those needs.”
As Hurricane Ian approaches and evacuees begin to head to the Wiregrass.
They also may see an uptick in the price at the pump.
Hotels in the Wiregrass are already beginning to fill up.
According to Visit Dothan, people began booking rooms late last week in advance of the coming weather.
It’s believed hotel rooms are going to sell out.
Starting Tuesday, Visit Dothan will release a hotel availability website.
It will be updated three times a day so people can stay current on available hotel rooms in the area.
Meantime, Visit Dothan asks people to go ahead and book their hotel rooms soon, before there is no vacancy.
Dothan is also a popular area for hurricane relief crews or staging areas.
“Ask that the people of the Wiregrass area do like we always do,” Judah said. “We are very resilient here and show out hospitality.”
Wiregrass 2-1-1 has created a document that will be a resource for people looking to donate to Hurricane Ian evacuees with hotel rooms, food sources, prescription assistance, and other questions that someone coming into the Wiregrass may have.