For many, Charlotte is shelter from Hurricane Matthew

For many, Charlotte is shelter from Hurricane Matthew

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Welcome stations in and around Charlotte are filling up with people evacuating Hurricane Matthew. At a rest stop in Charlotte, WBTV found people from Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina who were all seeking shelter further north.

"We have eight people with us and we'll be here until Sunday," said Vickie Gibbs, who left Mt. Pleasant with her family Thursday, a day after the evacuation.

She admitted she stayed on the coast during Hurricane Hugo and thought about sticking out this storm too.

"We're actually right on the coast so we wanted to make sure that we were safe," Gibbs said.

While Gibbs and her family planned to stay in Charlotte, others were just passing through to other destinations.

"We're on our way to Mt. Airy and we have a vacation house up there," said Amanda Pittman.

Pittman is on anything but a vacation. Her mind is hundreds of miles away with her family and home in St. Augustine, Florida.

"My dad he works for the sheriff's office so he's not able to leave which is scary for me because I wish he could come home or come up here with us, so he could be safe," Pittman said.

Travelers told WBTV that hotels in the area have been hard to come by. Several managers in the York County area said business was already near capacity because of a planned disc golf championship.

Last minute storm reservations left most South Carolina locations full. Lots in south Charlotte were also full of cars with license plates from states all along the coast.

"We went to Charlotte, we went to Columbia, and all those places filled up. You couldn't get a spot," said Ron Southworth, who ended up finding a room in Mooresville.

WBTV found some who were trying to make the best of the situation.

"I was coming anyway, it just worked out great we had to evacuate," said Mac McLaughlin.

McLaughlin has a home in Daytona, but said hurricane or not, he already had plans to come to the Charlotte area for this weekend's race. While some are doing what they can to stay distracted, others are having trouble finding any calm before the storm.

"We are constantly watching the hurricane, weather reports, anything we're stalking it," said Pittman.

Most travelers told WBTV they planned to stay away from their homes on the coast at least through the weekend.

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