RV, travel trailer owners encouraged to evacuate ahead of storm
FORT MORGAN, Ala. (WPMI) —
Whether it's a mandatory evacuation or not, visitors at the Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores simply knew it was best to leave behind their planned vacation.
Along Alabama's beaches, a potentially dangerous surge from the Gulf is the main worry
Despite recommendations from local officials,some folks with RV's in Fort Morgan say they're optimistic and plan to ride out the storm.
On Friday, beachgoers were welcomed by clear skies and great weather.
But as Tropical Storm Nate surges toward the Gulf Coast, expected to soon become at Category 1 hurricane, many vacationers here at the Island Retreat RV Park in Fort Morgan aren't taking any chances.
A number of folks hit the road with less than 24 hours until landfall.
Illinois residents Janet and Ron Campbell bring their RV down to the Gulf Shores area every year.
"After all the hurricanes we've gone through, you don't really know what's going to happen. So we'd rather be safe than sorry," said Janet Campbell.
The Campbell's say they'll soon be leaving their camper inside the RV park and driving to a hotel farther inland.
"Just play it safe. Be smart. I'd rather protect our family. Everything else is just stuff. We can replace it," Ron Campbell said.
According to the manager of the Island Retreat RV park, a number of folks have decided to ride the storm out.
Tom Cook brought his camper down from Rome, Georgia and said he isn't preparing to leave.
"We're not going anywhere. I'm just going to roll the awning in and sit back and watch it. We'll have a hurricane party," said Cook, "If it was gonna come and stay awhile, we'd move on. As long as it don't turn our camper over, we'll be fine."
With multiple feet of storm surge and heavy winds and rains expected, Baldwin County Emergency Management Officials again recommended voluntary evacuations for those in recreational vehicles and travel trailers.
Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack said they are preparing for anything.
"There is always the 'What if?' And you have to plan for the 'What If'. But we also have to gage our reaction," said Sheriff Mack, "We don't want to be over reactive and we don't want to be underestimate either."
It's that "What if?" question that encouraged Mike Massey and his friends to leave their camper to stay in a friend's house.
"If the wind goes blowing hard, it'll blow one of these things over so we're going to get out of it. At least until tomorrow night," Massey said.
Baldwin County officials said they still don't believe shelter openings will be needed and no school closures for Monday are expected.