Hurricane Ida evacuees to seek shelter in north Mississippi

Evacuees are quickly heading north and staying in hotels to be safe from Hurricane Ida

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The impact of Ida is sending folks to the northern counties of Mississippi.

As Hurricane Ida makes landfall, Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf Coast, more people are searching for higher ground in the northeast Mississippi region.

For Econo Lodge in Columbus, the phones are ringing off the hook.

Dozens of folks are checking out rooms to wait out the storm.

“We’ve been having a lot of people coming in as of yesterday for the hurricane, trying to get away from the hurricane. We’re expecting to see more people coming in today so we’re just trying to get everything situated for this storm,” Assistant Manager Carolyn Davis said.

Assistant Manager Carolyn Davis said 27 people are evacuees. Louisiana resident Jessica Keys is one of those who chose to leave home despite some of her friends’ decisions to stay.

“Most of my family has left. you’ve gone to various different places. I chose to go with my friend, but I do have some, a lot of friends and family that stayed because, you know, you just live with hurricanes in New Orleans so you don’t think it’ll be as bad as it really was. But, I don’t know, I just had a feeling,” Keys said.

For Keys, the decision to leave was not an easy one.

“This is my first one I’ve had to actually make the decision as an adult. And it was very hard thinking about leaving all my friends and family and I just, I don’t know. At the end of the day I just wanted to be safe and I was scared. It’s everybody’s personal decision whether to stay or go. it’s something that living in southern Louisiana you always have to think about. It’s always in the back of the head and it’s not something you take lightly,” Keys said.

Davis said guests aren’t just booking rooms for one night. Families are staying until the storm is over.

“A lot of them, put up for 3 to 4 days because they just trying to make sure everything is clear where they can get out,” Davis said.

Econo Lodge staff said they will be following storm safety procedures as the storm gets worse in the Northeast Mississippi region.

For those who are still in need to evacuate from the lower areas, there is still some availability in Columbus.