Evacuees, recovery crews in central Alabama as Florence approaches

    The campground at Talladega Superspeedway were made available Wednesday to evacuees from Hurricane Florence. (Stephen Quinn | abc3340.com)

    Mass evacuations in the Carolina's forced thousands of evacuees to seek shelter from Hurricane Florence. Clady Slaughter has seen them come and go for days from her front desk at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Leeds.

    "It's heart wrenching. It really hurts to see people in distress like that. I had a lady I had to comfort last night. She was just in tears."

    The number of evacuees did in the area did not appear to be as many as last year when Hurricanes Irma and Harvey also forced mass evacuations along Florida and Texas respectively. Still, Slaughter said her hotel was offering increased discounts to customers from areas impacted by the storm. Most of the evacuees staying at the hotel were stopped on their way to stay with family elsewhere she said.

    Power crews and insurance adjusters also staged at local hotels. They were waiting to see where they would be sent for the eventual cleanup. Milphew and Melissa Wilson work as insurance adjusters and also own a renovation company. They said they spent 6 months in south Florida after Hurricane Irma.

    "We bring more than a check. We bring encouragement. We bring the hope and also of course the finances to help people get back to their normal lives," said Wilson.

    Talladega Superspeedway opened its campgrounds as shelter for storm evacuees. An estimated 40 people stayed on the campgrounds last year during Hurricane Irma according to staff. As of Wednesday evening only one person had come to the track they said.

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