Local hotels say Harvey evacuees are making their way to the coast

Local hotels say Harvey evacuees are making their way to the coast
Margaritaville says they are opening their doors to flood victims from Harvey and hope to see more evacuees come through. (Photo source: WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Hotels coastwide are reporting an uptick in evacuees from Harvey checking in, as more people are able to get out of devastated areas.

Margaritaville Biloxi employees say they're working closely with FEMA to be qualified as accommodations that evacuees can use, as part of their 30 day emergency housing.

Re'shell Johnson with the resort says many of the guests she's spoken to are evacuating, unsure if the water will continue to rise.

"I have seen five or six people so far," said Johnson. "Many people can't get out. But most who are here have come from Louisiana because they got the rain as well. I think once the evacuees can get out, they have to go somewhere, then they'll go further than Louisiana. So, we expect more."

Margaritaville's Director of Operations Kenny Glavan says his team will do all they can to help those escaping Harvey's floodwaters.

"We just started getting inquiries. Every day we're seeing an increase in calls asking, 'What is your availability?'" said Glavan. "Internally, we're partnering with the Krewe of Neptune. We're gathering supplies, and we're going to be a drop off point. It's surrounding the NFL kick-off on Thursday night. We'll come together, and make a generous donation to continue our efforts."

Glavan says each evacuee trying to stay at Margaritaville must first register with FEMA, then the hotel can send FEMA the bill.

Meanwhile, the resort says they're allowing evacuees to bring any size dog with them for the duration of their stay.

"It's great," said Johnson. "We feel like, if we can't go physically and help, it's good to offer something on the coast to try to put a smile on their face."

The United Way, Feed My Sheep, Loaves and Fishes, Twelve Baskets Food Bank, the Harrison County Health Department and the Salvation Army are among other coast organizations offering aid for Harvey evacuees.

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