Hurricane Irma evacuees checking into local hotels - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Hurricane Irma evacuees checking into local hotels

Many Hurricane Irma evacuees are staying in north Alabama. (Source: WAFF) Many Hurricane Irma evacuees are staying in north Alabama. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

As the flow of evacuees from Florida and Georgia grows ahead of Hurricane Irma making landfall, many are staying in north Alabama. On Friday, WAFF 48 News called several hotels from Athens to Cullman, and all reported having evacuees staying with them.

Tom and Gail Flanigan are staying at the Sleep Inn in Huntsvile. It didn't them long to decide whether they should leave their Fort Myers home ahead of the storm. They left Wednesday morning.

"It just kind of like a last minute decision that we decided we should go rather than stay because of the damage that we have seen from (Hurricane) Charley," Gail Flanigan said.

The Flanigans lived in Cleveland, Ohio but had a home in Florida when that devastating storm hit in 2004.

"We lost our home down there in Port Charlotte. So there's no way I would stay around for a hurricane," Tom Flanigan said.

LIke many others in Irma's projected path, they have come to Alabama. But many of their Florida neighbors have decided to ride out the storm.

"I have concerns for them because they have never been through or seen anything like this and they are staying. And they think where they're at is going to be fine. Well, hopefully it is," Gail Flanigan said.

They said they are also concerned about the home they left behind.

"If it's damaged that bad, there's nothing you can do. It's already done. Then take what you got and try and see if you can work with it. But it's going to be...it's not going to be good."

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