Dozens of evacuees at Charlotte Motor Speedway brace for Florence issues

WBTV M-F 5:30p-6p Recurring - VOD - clipped version

CONCORD, NC (WBTV) - Dozens of evacuees from eastern North Carolina are sheltering in two campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, but with conditions in our area starting to deteriorate, how safe are they?

The Clark family of Holly Ridge is waiting out Hurricane Florence at the Camping World campground.

They’re learning new songs on a ukulele, playing board games, getting tours of Charlotte Motor Speedway, and enjoying the close confinement of family in three campers.

There are 16 in all, ranging in age from 8 to 66.

“The things that we left behind,” said Doug Clark. “Hopefully they’ll make it through the storm, but we’ve got the things that are important here with us.”

Logistically, getting everyone to Concord safely was quite an accomplishment.

“It wasn’t really an option to stay home, right now the eye is moving right over where our home is,” said Kristy Leanes.

In Concord for most of the day it’s been very windy, but mostly dry. The Clarks know that conditions here will be getting worse and that heavy rain is expected, but they say they feel safe.

“We know we’re going to get a lot of rain, lot of water, hopefully the wind will die down substantially by the time it gets up here,” Clark added. “Obviously, as far inland as we are we feel much safer here than we did right on the coast.”

They lived through Hurricane Matthew where one of their campers and a large trailer were both submerged in muddy water.

They say that with so much to look out for, coming to Concord was the best decision they could have made.

Still, there are challenges.

“Not knowing,” said Kristy Leanes. “It was so hard to walk out the door and say it’s okay if something happens to the house because we have the important things with us. But it’s still hard to sit here and think I could have a tree on my house right now, it could be raining on all of those things we left at home that are important to us because we couldn’t bring everything, obviously, but the things that are most important we have with us.”

The speedway does have a safety and emergency plan for the campers in the campground, according to spokesman Scott Cooper.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.