Irma evacuees thankful for hospitality in South Mississippi

Irma evacuees thankful for hospitality in South Mississippi
Evacuees at Martin Lake Resort in Latimer say the community has welcomed them with open arms, as they watch and wait for the best time to return home. (Photo source: WLOX)

LATIMER, MS (WLOX) - Many evacuees from Florida, who are doing their best to outrun Irma, are still waiting it out in South Mississippi, as the last of the storm blows through. Evacuees at Martin Lake Resort in Latimer say the community has welcomed them with open arms, as they watch and wait for the best time to return home.

Martin Lake Resort residents say they usually cook for the people in their neighborhood. Since Irma evacuees have been around, they've shared with them as well.

"I just love to cook," Martin Lake Resident Venus Land said. "I know how it feels to be displaced, and want to offer them a sense of peace. They were very thankful for it. They didn't know what they were going back to. None were able to plan their meals, or anything else. They'd been on the road for 12 to 24 hours."

Tallahassee resident Alvin Marks said he's thankful the storm wasn't any worse at his home, and he's ready to head back Tuesday.

"When we left, we thought it would be a devastating storm in our area because looked like it would hit us," Marks said. "We wanted to come further west, and this seemed like the safest place."

His granddaughter, Jenna, said her family has been keeping up with any news they can find about how their home fared during the storm.

"I was actually very nervous because I had to leave my dog behind," Jenna said.

Linda Hornsby with the Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association said many Florida evacuees are staying put in South Mississippi hotels until Florida Governor Rick Scott issues the okay for them to return home.

Officials say 65 percent of the state of Florida is currently without power, and it could be weeks before it's restored.

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