2017-09-13 / Local News

Hurricane Irma evacuees fill up local hotels

By SCOTT POWELL
Ledger Staff Writer

Cherokee County hotels were completely booked last week from people evacuating coastal South Carolina, Georgia and Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma.

There are about 400 hotel rooms available in Cherokee County. Local Chamber of Commerce members Super 8, Red Roof Inn, Sleep Inn, Baymont, Hampton Inn and KOA Campground were all completely booked.

Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce director Jonna Turner said the high demand for places to stay spotlights a need for more local lodging options.

“Every available room was taken as our hotels that are local Chamber members accommodated evacuees from Florida, Texas and the coastal areas of South Carolina,” Turner said. “There were several cars with Florida and Texas license plates at our local hotels. We really need more hotel rooms available in this area. Our hotels often fill up on fall and spring weekends when there are Limestone College sporting events and major events in the Spartanburg area.”

Local Chamber of Commerce hotel members can accommodate approximately 323 guests, including: Baymont Inn and Suites (65 rooms), Hampton Inn of Gaffney (85 rooms) Super 8 Motel (60 rooms), Quality Inn (81 rooms), Red Roof Inn (62 rooms), and Sleep Inn (60 rooms).

The Cherokee County School District had nine schools available for use as emergency shelters, chief operations officer Joe Walker said. None of the shelter sites were opened.

Cherokee County schools and Limestone College were among many area schools which were closed Monday due to the storm.

Cherokee County schools opened on a 2-hour delay Tuesday. Limestone College operated on a normal schedule Tuesday.

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