Florida evacuees stay at Myrtle Beach KOA Campground during Hurricane Irma


Myrtle Beach, SC (WMBF) – As Hurricane Irma wreaks havoc in Florida, residents have turned to South Carolina to evacuate. Many have come to Myrtle Beach – more specifically, the KOA Kampground. Evacuees like Miami natives Adriana Gonzalez and Sylvana Gilmore.

“When we heard Irma was coming our way, we were scared,” said Adriana Gonzalez.

“Especially because a lot of people were telling us it was going to be very difficult to leave,” said Sylvana Gilmore of Miami. “They were saying there was no gas. They were saying it was going to be 12 hours.”

Manager Jeremiah Drew had a range of emotions as Irma came closer.

“Safety was the main concern, so it went from being nervous to anxious to just absolutely thrilled to be able to help.”

“They’re walking into an environment where they’re going to see we’re ready to have them and that we’re ready to love and take care of them and to handle the weight they really just can’t bare,” said Paige McDaniels, Marketing Coordinator.

Weight that sat on the shoulders of Gainesville, Florida native Debra Benson and her family.

“We packed up our kids and packed up our camping gear and came to South Carolina. We weren’t sure where we were going but we stayed at a State Camp last night and they came around and told us that this place was hosting evacuees so we came here instead.”

A warm place to stay as well as food were served..

“We have chicken bog, green beans and potatoes, hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks,” Jessica Hardee said.

For the kids, the change of scenery is just another day of fun.

“We moved into a house of wood and jumped on the trampoline,” said Gage Garcia.

8-year-old Kadynce from Florida said, she has enjoyed “Spending time with the family.”

“My Mom was in a lot of trouble when we got kicked out of our hotel because we had 2 dogs and they didn’t allow it,” Richard Garcia of Miami, Florida said. “Thank you for this trip.”

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