300 Irma evacuees find shelter in west Mobile - FOX10 News | WALA

300 Irma evacuees find shelter in west Mobile

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RVs belonging to Flordia evacuees are parked at The Grounds in west Mobile. (Kati Weis, WALA FOX10 News) RVs belonging to Flordia evacuees are parked at The Grounds in west Mobile. (Kati Weis, WALA FOX10 News)
MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

Around 80 RVs and campers, housing 300 Florida evacuees, have found shelter at The Grounds in west Mobile. 

It's normally not open to public camping, but an exception was made so people fleeing Florida in their RVs and campers could find a place to escape the storm. 

Countless evacuees said how grateful they are for the kind, southern hospitality they've experienced these last couple of days.

"The people in Alabama have been just the best," said Gary Weatherlow, from Inverness, Fla. 

"It's truly inspiring what this community is doing for us," said Alexia Sweeney, of Daytona Beach, Fla. 

Sweeney said her family tried to camp in Dothan, Ala., but law enforcement encouraged them to leave once it appeared Hurricane Irma was veering westward. 

"When we first pulled in and hooked up, we had people come and check on us, and ask, 'do you need anything?'" she said. "They were very welcoming."

Weatherlow said campgrounds across northern Alabama were all booked up. 

So he and his wife headed down to the Mobile area, where they were tipped off about the open camping at The Grounds. 

He said having such a nice camping experience has helped him to have a greater peace of mind during such a stressful time.

"You can set up your camp, and have a reasonable enjoyment of life, and hope your house doesn't get blown away while you're gone," Weatherlow said. 

The staff at The Grounds has also been making sure folks are well equipped with supplies when they head back to devastated Florida. 

"There was a guy walking around here last night, handing out water, and he said, 'when you go back, take some water with you, so can hand it out, or (so) if you are going to need it when you get there,'" said Weatherlow. "It restored my faith in humanity, you know how people ignore you sometimes, but when things like this happens, everybody pulls together."

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