Evacuees getting ready to fill South Georgia hotels - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Evacuees getting ready to fill South Georgia hotels

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September 1, 2004

Albany- Christine Williams is getting good at giving directions from Florida to Albany's Sleep Inn.

Hurricane Francis is sending evacuees this way. But South Georgia hotels are out of rooms.

"Right now we are almost pretty full on Thursday, sold on Friday, oversold on Friday, oversold on Saturday, oversold on Sunday," said Jaye Lomax, director of sales.

They know if the weather gets bad, people coming here for football may cancel. But Floridians have made it clear they're on the way.

"Yesterday, last night, almost all night long he had phone calls. This morning, the phone hasn't stopped," Lomax said.

When hotels in the Valdosta area booked up, calls started coming in to Albany.

"The area down there was completely full and they were starting to send folks this way, so we got on the phone and found out about our availability," said Sara Underwood with the Albany Chamber of Commerce.

Which is minimal at most. But regardless of how many people show up here, they'll try to make them comfortable.

"We will be serving free coffee even if they're not registered in the hotel, they're not hotel guests," Lomax said. "We will still serve them coffee at least if not more."

If Christine and Jaye can't find evacuees a bed, they'll work to send them in the right direction of someone who can.

posted at 9:40 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com