GA woman happy her home is safe after stay in Tifton hotel - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

GA woman happy her home is safe after stay in Tifton hotel

The Barnes family returned home Tuesday after 5 days in a Tifton hotel. (Source: WALB) The Barnes family returned home Tuesday after 5 days in a Tifton hotel. (Source: WALB)
Laurel Barnes (Source: WALB) Laurel Barnes (Source: WALB)
Barnes' home sustained only minor water damage on the ceiling, but 10 others nearby had major damage. (Source: Laurel Barnes) Barnes' home sustained only minor water damage on the ceiling, but 10 others nearby had major damage. (Source: Laurel Barnes)
Interior of Barnes' home (Source: Laurel Barnes) Interior of Barnes' home (Source: Laurel Barnes)
Holiday Inn Express Regional Manager Greg Daniel (Source: WALB) Holiday Inn Express Regional Manager Greg Daniel (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A St. Simons couple who evacuated to Tifton with three dogs, a cat and a rabbit are back home and thanking south Georgians for their hospitality. 

The Barnes family returned home Tuesday after five days in a Tifton hotel.

Last week Laurel Barnes hoped an angel would save her home. 

She said that the house was certainly touched by one because it's still in good shape.

Last Thursday, her dog was begging for Laurel Barnes to take her out of the crate. 

Now, Winnee Woo with one round ear, and one pointy one, and her four other companions are safely back on their island. 

Barnes said she owes it all to her guardian angels. 

"You can say anything you want about my beliefs, but my house is sitting here pretty good with no trees on it, in it or by it," said Barnes.  

Barnes fled to Tifton as Hurricane Matthew threatened the Georgia coast. 

She feared her home and neighborhood would be in ruins. 

"I am very thankful for them, I gave them all the credit," Barnes explained, referring to her angels. 

Her home sustained only minor water damage on the ceiling, but 10 others nearby had major damage.

Barnes said that the southern hospitality in Tifton made the frightening experience a lot smoother. 

Initially, Barnes was keeping her furry friends in her car in the Holiday Inn Express parking lot.

The manager said that with all the chaos, they failed to explain they were waiving their no pets policy for hurricane evacuees.

But Barnes got a response from the hotel after the WALB story aired.

"We immediately found her and we are accepting pets, during situations like this we do accept pets, we know that a pet is somebody's family," said Holiday Inn Express Regional Manager Greg Daniel.

"I'm very proud of them, that they stepped up to the plate. They let us come in, and they let other people with animals because honey there were a lot of us," explained Barnes. 

The Holiday Inn Express was booked solid, and they served breakfast to many evacuees who weren't even staying in the hotel.

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