Hotels across the Tennessee Valley are filling up due to Hurricane Michael, particularly in Athens.
“I’ve been through tons of hurricanes, but we’ve never had a direct hit like that," Diana White said.
White and her family packed up and headed to Athens after learning the kind of impact Hurricane Michael was expected to make on their home in Panama City.
“Trees down everywhere. There’s businesses down and jobs are gone," White said. "No electricity, no air, no water. From the pictures, there’s a lot of people who don’t have homes anymore.”
That's why Diana White is happy her family made the decision to evacuate. And they’re not the only ones.
Fairfield Inn & Suites in Athens is housing many evacuees and power crews who plan to head down and help with the aftermath.
“We try to create that ‘home-away-from-home’ for everybody and make them feel welcome," said Tyler Herrera with Fairfield Inn and Suites. "Give them that stress-free night and a good night’s sleep.”
It's something White says she’s definitely noticed during her time here.
“I’ve been very happy with Athens," she said. "It’s a beautiful place, it’s quiet and we’ve been treated wonderfully being here.”