DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Grey Gordon, a Tampa Bay resident is traveling along Highway 231 North to get away from the eye of the category 3 Hurricane Ian that’s heading toward his hometown.
“I wanted to get my own family my wife and kids, my three kids and dog out and I also wanted to get my parents out because they are 80 and 70 and they were in a mandatory evacuation area,” Gordon said.
Although there hasn’t been a major hurricane to impact Tampa directly in over 100 years, it’s not the first rodeo for Gordon and his family. In fact, they are taking the same path as they did in 2017 when they evacuated after Hurricane Irma.
“We went to Pelham, Alabama we just picked it on a whim and basically going back up there this time for this storm,” Gordon said.
Gordon says he’s fortunate to not have any major problems like finding a hotel room which can be a disaster as rooms fill up quickly in nearby areas that will not be affected.
“We got in early enough with the exception of some hotels not taking pets even with us being an evacuee of a hurricane,” He said.
With Dothan being a refuge during tropical storm weather, hotels are also preparing to the fullest. Townplace Suites staff have been going through “morning huddles” to make sure all hands are on deck to accommodate the influx of evacuees.
“We let them know our plan if the electricity goes out we have flashlights on hand, glowsticks, and entertainment ready for the kids,” said Betsey Marshall, the Director of Sales. “We have our food orders stocked up so we can still have breakfast that’s just how hotels prepare we’re being proactive instead of reactive.”
Marshall said they have 92 rooms and they are filling fast with about five left to sell.
If you are in need of a hotel room or want to check the availability, you can visit VisitDothan.