Coastal folks find refuge in Sylvester - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Coastal folks find refuge in Sylvester

(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
Diann Williams (Source: WALB) Diann Williams (Source: WALB)
Suzanne Rose (Source: WALB) Suzanne Rose (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) -

Hurricane Matthew continues to pummel the Florida and Georgia coastline, causing thousands of families evacuating to shelters here in South Georgia. 

Members of one family from Glynn County says they've been through this once before. Hurricane Floyd threatened their home years ago, leaving them with no choice but to evacuate, and they did so in Sylvester.

This year, when Hurricane Matthew came, they couldn't think of a better place to seek refuge than the First Baptist Church.

Families from the Georgia and Florida coast are packing their cars full. "Six.  Four kids, and my daughter and the cat," said Volusia County, Florida native Suzanne Rose with a laugh.

"Four adults and two kids," said Diann Williams of Saint Simons Island. And how was that ride?  "Uh, interesting…"

They left everything they have back at home as Hurricane Matthew rages through the coast, and traveled for hours until they finally had to stop.

"We went and got our grand kids and we got everything together and packed and God just led us here to Sylvester," said Greg Williams.

For Greg Williams and his wife, Sylvester is a familiar place. They came here back when Hurricane Floyd hit in their hometown of Brunswick.

"We came here, and everybody was so nice," said Diann Williams. "The whole town, everybody just treated us like we were family here. It was very memorable for me."

But Suzanne Rose and her family had nowhere else to go. And they're glad they came to Sylvester. "Just to have a place to know you're okay, because there's no motels, and you don't know how long it'll before you can get back." Said Rose.  'So how long could you afford to stay in a motel anyways?"

Volunteers from Pruitt Health and Phoebe Worth are here at First Baptist Church, bringing in blankets and toiletries for the evacuees. 

"They fed us dinner last night, great dinner. And they have been so good with our kids, they have activities for them," said Diann Williams.

And the church plans to keep the doors open as long as these families need a place to stay. "We're here and we're good, so that's good," said Suzanne Rose.

"They are very Godly people, and we appreciate them a lot.  We sure do," said Greg Williams.

The church is just one of the many places here in South Georgia offering a place for evacuees.

CLICK HERE for a list of shelters

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