MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — Forecasters believe Hurricane Ian will be a major hurricane when it makes landfall somewhere between Tampa and Ft. Myers.
Many of those residents have decided not to stick around and some will wind up in the Panhandle.
Phones at a Marianna R-V park are ringing off the hook.
Florida Caverns RV Resort has over 100 sites and sits just two miles from I-10.
General manager Charles McIntosh said interest in reservations has exploded in the last couple of days as Hurricane Ian moves closer and closer to the state.
“We’re already starting to experience the evacuees calling us and booking online through our website and we are anticipating more.” McIntosh said. “We’ve made every site we have available out there and we’ve been helping people as much as we possibly can.”
The RV resort was destroyed in Hurricane Michael and is still rebuilding. McIntosh said he’s glad to be able to give back and knows how these evacuees feel.
“If you’re in a position to help and you don’t help, that’s just flat wrong,” McIntosh said. “Nobody exists by themselves out here. We all have different levels of engagement we want out of our friends and community but when you get something like this, everybody needs a little bit of help no matter what it is.”
Jackson County Emergency Management has been working with the state and the Tourist Development Council to streamline reservations for evacuees.
“We’re currently running a census to see what our current status is in our local hotels,” Jackson County Emergency Management Director Keith Maddox said. “We’ll be putting out a link that the state has available through I believe is an Expedia link that the state has put out for people who will have to evacuate so that they can look for vacancies in hotels.”
Click here for a link to the real-time lodging availability site.