Hotels filled to the max in Columbia and Richmond Counties as Hurricane Mathew evacuations continue


COLUMBIA-RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. – If you’re looking to find refuge in an area hotel, good luck finding a room in Richmond and Columbia Counties. The CVB says they’re all booked solid, except the Marriott in downtown Augusta.

As people travel to the CSRA to escape Hurricane Mathew, many are finding it difficult to find a hotel room.

Gene Durick and his family are from Beaufort, South Carolina. They lucked-up with a room at the Travelodge Inn and Suites in Grovetown.

“Luckily by the time we got home around 6pm, my sister had tried to find a room and found one,” said Durick.

Now, he and four others along with a dog and cat will be sharing that one room.

Another family from South Carolina, who managed to find shelter here, had to do some maneuvering.

“Me and my friend have to go to another hotel and the kids have to stay here because all the hotels are booked and that was our only option,” said Addie Murray.

That leaves Murray saying goodbye to her 25- year old daughter and other children for a bit.

Manager Joe Tate says phones have been ringing off the hook at the Holiday Inn along I-20.

“Everyone is pretty busy. We’re getting calls left and right. And we’re trying our best to get everybody accommodated,” said Tate.

But with calls asking for room, they’re also getting cancellations and that’s where persistence can pay off.

“There are frequent cancellations throughout the day and eventually I’m sure you’re going to find a place in Augusta,” said Tate.

We headed to a packed parking lot at the Double Tree in Richmond County.

But General Manager Les Reagan also says, just because you hear, “No”, don’t consider it permanent.

“We are being flexible with cancellation policies due to the fact that we aren’t in control over this so if someone needs to, we cancel it and it goes back into the system,” said Reagan.

You can also try websites and apps such as Airbnb. We spoke with one hotel manager who actually owns several hotels in the area and he says to beware of any price gouging. Area hotels aren’t supposed to be doing it so if you see it, report it.

The Augusta Visitors Center says it is staying in close contact with area hotels.

You can reach them at (706) 724-4067.

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