Rock Hill hotels see influx of Hurricane Dorian evacuees

Rock Hill hotels seeing influx of visitors fleeing Hurricane Dorian

YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - People continue to evacuate the Carolina coastline ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s approach, and many of those evacuees have found refuge in Rock Hill.

York County leaders say because of all the hurricanes the Carolina coast has seen in recent years the influx has not come as a surprise, but it has become somewhat of a trend.

“We’ve had about one incident a year over the last several years, but we’re finding out now is that we’re getting accustomed to it,” said Billy Dunlap, president and CEO of Visit York County. “I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but our hotels are preparing for it.”

Dunlap says the 41 hotels in the York County area currently have about 10 to 12% more guests than usual because of Hurricane Dorian.

“It started about 48 hours ago with people calling in into the local hotels, and we’re starting to see from really today until the weekend, we’re starting to see a pretty steady flow of evacuees coming from the coast,” added Dunlap.

That includes the Herrod family who has evacuated from Beaufort.

“We’ve been to Rock Hill before, and it was a little bit closer than Charlotte,” said Toni Herrod who evacuated the coastline with her husband, children and their dog. Herrod says they’ll hang tight until she gets the word from work it’s okay to go back.

“I know it’s not supposed to be horrible, but if we’re going to be without power and not be able to take showers there would really be no point, I guess,” said Herrod. “So I’d much rather be comfortable and have running water and shower and everything like that.

For those traveling by RV, the City of Rock Hill has opened its RV lot across from the BMX Supercross Track near the Riverwalk for free. Right now, there are more than 40 of the 43 spots still available.

“We hope folks will take advantage of this resource here,” said Tom Bell, the superintendent of the Rock Hill Outdoor Center. “It’s available for them- they can come in 24 hours a day.”

Bell said the lot is open on a first come, first serve basis, and anyone looking for information should call (803) 242-4424.

In the meantime for families who are in the area because of the evacuations, Dunlap says there are several things to do.

“If you’re into water sports we’ve got SouthTown Wake Park, if you’re in the history, we’ve got Brattonsville,” said Dunlap. “We’ve got Lake Wylie, we’ve got the Catawba River… we’re hoping that if you do find yourself in York County that you’ll find great things to do.”

For more on what’s available in the county visit https://www.visityorkcounty.com/.

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