Florida evacuees seek safety in Biloxi
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - As Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida, several residents evacuated to Biloxi for safety.
This week, Nuri Reed from Sarasota checked in to the Beau Rivage.
“It’s really scary because our location is not that far from the bay, the Gulf,” she told WLOX. “So, I decided oh, no, no, no. I got in my car.”
Back at home, Reed sells cars for Toyota. When the company began clearing all of its vehicles from the property, she knew it was time for her to leave as well.
“I’m not worried about the home,” she said. “Material you can replace it, but the lady I live with, I’m real nervous about her right now. And I have four other friends.”
It’s the third time Reed has fled to the Beau Rivage during a storm.
She was picked up by the casino hotel’s charter plane program at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, along with five others.
“We live in the hurricane zones, so we know it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. And everyone’s watching and praying for those that are down there,” communications director Mary Cracchiolo said. “And we’re happy to be able to, you know, have a space for them to come here and feel safe.”
Carolyn Halliday from Dunedin also arrived on the charter.
“It was by the grace of God that we got to come here,” she said. “When the storm was coming, I said to my husband, ‘I’m not staying in this storm.’”
She said the two did not have a chance to board up their house before boarding the plane.
“I’m happy to be here, but my whole entire family is back at home,” she said. “So, I’m nervous, you know, for them, praying to God.”
Halliday is in constant contact with her three sisters.
“Hopefully everything will be OK,” she said.
“I just hope to God, I pray for everybody,” Reed added.
Those who arrived on the Beau Rivage’s Monday flight are scheduled to travel back to the Clearwater area on Friday, but hotel staff said accommodations will be made for anyone who would like to stay.
Airport travel in and out of Tampa International is canceled until Thursday.
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