Evacuation doesn't come cheap - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Evacuation doesn't come cheap

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September 3, 2004

Albany-- Hurricane Frances may prove to be catastrophic for much of Florida. As hundreds of thousands of people pour into Georgia and Alabama, there is an economic ripple effect.

The retail and restaurant district of Northwest Albany is always busy, but it is even busier than normal Friday. The evacuees are here and the employees at places like the Cracker Barrel and Golden Corral are meeting a lot of them.

I talked to the chamber today and they said evacuees are asking for lists of restaurants and they want to know where to find Sam's Club and Super Wal-Mart.

We didn't have to go far in the WalMart Parking lot before we started

seeing Florida license plates- some from as far away as West Palm Beach. The evacuees we talked to say they come expecting to spend money. "There's nothing else to do, So we've been going to all the stores, finding things that we left behind," said Florida Evacuee Ricki Schiffman.

These evacuations must be expensive for them between hotel bills, three meals a day and even entertainment. But as far as businesses here are concerned, these next several days will be great ones for their cash registers.

Some restaurant employees say their lunch business doubled today because of business from evacuees.

posted at 5:40PM by dave.miller@walb.com