Fayetteville launches website to help Ian evacuees find hotel rooms

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) — Fayetteville officials are stepping in to lend a helping hand to people fleeing Hurricane Ian.

The Fayetteville-area Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched a new website displaying information about which hotels evacuees can go to, how many rooms are available and who to contact in case of an emergency.

Nearly 30 hotels are joining the effort. Officials say the site is often updated every day and they try to show solidarity.

“This community is such a caring community, to begin with,” said Randy Fiveash, interim president and CEO of the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It goes back to our roots of caring for soldiers, embracing soldiers and embracing soldiers. So I think it’s just an offshoot of us saying, ‘we just want to be helpful.'”

Evacuees said the hurricane was already causing stress in their Florida neighborhoods.

“You expect people to start hoarding,” said Bryan Delaney of the Lakeland, Florida area. “That’s what we saw this weekend at the supermarket, at the gas station.”

For some, they are not only trying to escape the major storm, but also dealing with major health issues. Alex West from St. Petersburg said he needed electricity because he suffered from kidney failure and had recently undergone open-heart surgery. He urged others to take the evacuation seriously.

“I understand the desire to want to protect your home,” West said. “But your life is much more important. If you’re in an evacuation zone, evacuate. It’s mandatory. Don’t fight law enforcement. Don’t fight the system.”

Anyone looking for help can go to the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau website for more information.

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