Hurricane Evacuees Fill Hotels, RV Parks
Evacuees of Tropical Storm Gustav will have to travel as far north as El Dorado, Ark., and as far west as Dallas to find shelter from the coming storm.
Hotels and RV parks in the Shreveport-Bossier City, La., area filled all their rooms in a matter of hours after the storm turned toward the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Shreveport Times.
"We are booked solid," said Brandy Claiborne, vice president of communications for the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. "We are calling the outlying areas to see what they have available. When this happened three years ago we had to refer people to east Texas and south Arkansas."
She said there are about 9,000 hotel rooms in the area.
Texas, however, is booked all the way to Dallas. There are no rooms available in Marshall, Texas; Longview, Texas; and Nacogdoches, Texas, according to hotels.com.
Meanwhile, RV parks have also been booked solid.
In fact, KOA Shreveport-Bossier, which has 83 RV and tent sites, canceled all its reservations for Labor Day weekend to accommodate evacuees.
Owner Tom Landis said all his spaces were filled as of noon Wednesday. "We have filled up every piece of landscape. We started getting calls (Tuesday), when they said the hurricane would turn into the Gulf."
Kelly's Campground in Greenwood has steadily been turning people away. Park manager Angela Melbourne said they had 18 messages waiting for them Thursday morning.
"Right now, we're at a point where people are dry camping."
Melbourne said she has been using a dirt parking lot in the back of the RV park to put dry campers. "We have room for about 10 back there. It's getting bad. I was booked up before noon Wednesday."