Displaced persons: Isabel brings folks to town
Don't tell Charlottesville/Albemarle residents who have spent over a week without power and water, but our part of the world was considered a refuge for many evacuees who came up from the Tidewater area.
On Wednesday, September 17, we dropped by the Days Inn and its adjacent Red Lobster restaurant on Route 29.
Tom Jeffery from Poquoson– "It wasn't hard to find a hotel because we made reservations three days ago. This looked like Andrew did, and we live on the water. We put all projectiles inside, got everything off the ground, and put things upstairs. If I hadn't been worried about flooding, I would have stuck it out, but my ground floor is only eight feet above ground level, and they're calling for five to seven feet above ground level."
Nicole Reed from Norfolk– "I originally had a hotel in Richmond but decided it was not far enough, so I came here. Before leaving, I just grabbed important documents, things that couldn't be replaced. I'm originally from St. Louis and moved to Virginia in February. My husband's in the military, and he went out to sea. They'll circle around the storm and come back. I hope Isabel comes and goes so I can go back home. I hope I have a place to go back to. My apartment is ten feet from the beach. Everyone else in my building is staying. As long as I found a hotel with a bar, I knew I'll be fine."
Jason Dlugos from Hampton– "It was not hard to find a hotel because my mom started looking early. We boarded up our house, all windows and doors, covered all electrics with plastic bags, filled up our bathtub with water, turned off all the lights, and left. It was kind of sad. We were supposed to go to school today. I said, 'I'm not going,' and it got canceled anyway. We live one mile from the beach. We have trees around our house. During every past hurricane, trees have fallen."
Jason's 13-year-old brother, Jarrod Dlugos– "I don't want to leave [Charlottesville]. It's like a vacation."
Keith Tinkham from Chesapeake– "My wife got on the Internet and found a hotel. We came with other families. The traffic was bad. We picked this hotel because it was pet-friendly. It's hard to find a pet-friendly hotel in a 300-mile radius. It was a mandatory evacuation for low lying areas in Virginia Beach. I've never seen all the ships taking off until now. It was amazing. We went through hurricane Bonnie, but this is going to be tougher. I tied down the outdoor furniture, drained the pool. Today we went to [Fashion Square] mall. I just need to keep everyone entertained.