Coastal residents escaping Hurricane Florence have been fleeing their homes and heading west for the weekend. Most hotels in the Burlington area have had an increase in customers, and as the weekend approaches, reservations are even harder to get. 

David Gant, Best Western Plus Manager, said his hotel is almost completely sold out, but he is trying to accommodate everyone.  

“I feel like it is a great service we provide for them to be safe and feel like they are safe and everything,” Gant said. “I think one of the important things for them is they want to make sure they have power and we have that ability, so they stay here.”

Most of the guests staying in hotels around Burlington include families, emergency crews and electrical crews. According to Gant, most people are coming from the coast of North and South Carolina. This is the case at most of the hotels in the area, like the Courtyard by Marriott, which is just a 10-minute drive from campus.

Gary and Sandi Michaels, Myrtle Beach residents, fled to the Courtyard by Marriott when their sons expressed worries for their safety. 

“That’s it, we’ve got to go,” Gary said. “So they were right, we had to go. We had to go out.”

Before their family made them leave South Carolina, the Michaels thought they could stick it out, after having experienced two hurricanes in the past. 

“Three or four days ago I said, ‘We’re gonna stay,’ I’ve stayed through two down there that have been 120 mph or better," Michaels said.

If you are still trying to find a hotel to seek shelter in, the Courtyard by Marriott near the highway has three rooms available for tonight, but you should check their website for up-to-date information.