Several York County hotels are filled with residents evacuating areas that were hit or expected to be hit by Hurricane Irma.
The Holiday Inn Rock Hill reported that more than 70 percent of its occupancy Sunday was due to evacuees from Florida, Charleston and Georgia.
Hilton Head resident Andi Purple said she left her home at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, a few hours before a 10 a.m. mandatory evacuation went into effect. She was staying at Fairfield Inn and Suites Marriott in Rock Hill over the weekend and is headed to a Charlotte hotel Monday for a meeting.
“(Fairfield) has been a great hotel,” she said.
Purple, who also evacuated when Hurricane Matthew hit nearly a year ago, said there was light traffic on the interstates and she made it to Rock Hill in under four hours.
Purple said she has family that also evacuated Fort Lauderdale and some in Orlando. Purple said she is worried about family who stayed in Tampa and about her Hilton Head home.
“I can’t imagine staying through something like that,” she said. “Hopefully we will be spared because we really got hit hard with Matthew. It was pretty devastating.”
Hampton Inn in Rock Hill, Courtyard by Marriott in Fort Mill and Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Fort Mill also had most of their rooms filled with those evacuating Irma.
Fairfield Inn Rock Hill’s general manager Dianne Heuvelmans said most of her inn’s occupancy was due to evacuees from parts of Georgia, Hilton Head, Charleston and Florida. As of Sunday afternoon, the hotel was at 95 percent occupancy.
“Our hearts really go out to these folks and we are doing all we can to help them,” Heuvelmans said. “We’re doing whatever we can to help them get acclimated to the area and find things they need.”
Local hotels, including Fairfield Inn and Hilton Garden Inn in Rock Hill, suspended their “no pets” policies for the evacuees.
“They’re going through a lot; the least we can do is make it a little easier for them,” Heuvelmans said.
Daytona Beach resident Isaiah Shropshire, a semi truck driver, said he is calling each hour to check on family that stayed. He is also staying at Fairfield Inn.
“I’m just hoping everybody is safe,” Shropshire said.
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082