Ga. state parks fill up with Florida evacuees, vacationers

Ga. state parks fill up with Florida evacuees, vacationers
Georgia state parks are open to evacuees and their pets ahead of Hurricane Dorian.

ADEL, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia state parks are starting to fill up with many looking to escape Hurricane Dorian.

WALB News 10 checked in at Reed Bingham State Park to find out if it was filling up and with whom.

"We left to get out of the storm and we are about 30 to 40 miles from the beach,” said the Gentry family, Florida evacuees.

The Gentry family
The Gentry family

They left their mobile home behind in Hilliard, which is about 40 minutes from Jacksonville. They did so to escape the category 4 Hurricane Dorian, which is heading towards Florida.

Reed Bingham State Park is located just over two hours from the Florida coast.

It was the first place the Gentry family called to find refugee with “just our camper and things that we needed to get away, important papers and things.”

“Our normal campers, we have the evacuees camping, we have holiday travel," said Samantha McKinney with Reed Bingham State Park. "We’re still at full capacity right now.”

Samantha McKinney with Reed Bingham State Park
Samantha McKinney with Reed Bingham State Park

McKinney said evacuees are hoping to keep their minds off the storm.

“They’re not watching the news. They’re kind of sort of detoured away from the TV. They’re trying to keep their minds on other things" said McKinney.

McKinney said not all of the park is filled with evacuees. Some people are there to relax and enjoy nature.

“We came up to Reed Bingham just to check out all of the fishing places. My husband is retired now and he’s been checking out everywhere he can go fishing,” said the Greene family, who are from Valdosta.

The Greene family
The Greene family

Park staff said Florida evacuees started coming in on Friday and their camp sites have been full all weekend.

State parks in Southwest Ga.

Georgia state parks announced that evacuees and their pets were welcomed. While most of the cabins and campsites were booked over the weekend, the organization said spaces would open up on Monday and overflow camping would be available. Below is a list of state parks in Southwest Georgia and their contact information.

  • General Coffee State Park:
    • 46 John Coffee RoadNicholls, GA 3155
    • (912) 384-7082
  • Georgia Veterans State Park:
    • 2459 U.S. 280, Cordele, GA 31015
    • (229) 276-2371
  • Reed Bingham State Park:
    • 542 Reed Bingham Rd. Adel, GA 31620
    • (229) 896-3551
  • Providence Canyon State Park:
    • 8930 Canyon Rd. Lumpkin, GA 31815
    • (229) 838-6202
  • George T. Bagby State Park:
    • 330 Bagby Pkwy., Fort Gaines, GA 39851
    • (229) 768-2571
  • Kolomoki Mounds State Park:
    • 205 Indian Mounds Rd., Blakely, GA 39823
    • 229-724-2150
  • Seminole State Park
    • 7870 State Park Rd., Donalsonville, GA 39845
    • (229) 861-3137

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