Local hotels prepare for Hurricane Ida evacuees

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 9:44 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - In the past few days, many people raced out of Louisiana and headed toward Alabama.

Huntsville Marriott sales director Harmony Heard said they have not seen an influx of evacuees coming in just yet, but are preparing for their arrival.

On Sunday, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana as a category four hurricane. Now it has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

It brought 150 mph winds and flooding, causing many people to leave the state to seek shelter.

Heard said they haven’t had any evacuees to check in yet, but many have in Birmingham.

“The hotels jumped from maybe 50 percent occupancy to all the way to being sold out. They are coming up with plans on how to service the groups and take care of everybody,” said Heard.

To help prepare, Heard said her staff is preparing to have rooms available and are stocking up on food.

“So for our guest rooms, we have 70 guestrooms available that we would be able to take, and if we get large blocks of evacuees coming in. We are stocking up on groceries and stocking up our hot bar. We are making sure our housekeeping team has enough rooms available to be ready to take care of people and help them find solace to what’s going on,” said Heard.

Heard said right now they are working on a staffing plan to ensure they have enough workers to accommodate evacuees when they arrive.

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