TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — As Hurricane Ida continues to strengthen, people in Louisiana are packing up what they can and hitting the road to Tuscaloosa to ride out the storm.
People from Louisiana are staying in Tuscaloosa Saturday. Many visitors tell CBS 42 it’s been a rough day competing for hotel rooms and making quick decisions on what to pack up or leave behind.
Traffic was heavy out of New Orleans on Saturday as people evacuated from the approaching Hurricane Ida.
“Yeah, it was pretty wild getting out of town it took us longer than we thought,” said Fraser Ryan-Wynhoff, Louisiana evacuee.
“The interstate we couldn’t go Texas way because it was stopped traffic but we did end up coming this way we were only going 40 mph for a couple of hours,” another evacuee from Louisiana.
Emereuwa is one of the many travelers that hit the roadway ahead of the tropical storm on Saturday. She says finding a hotel has been the biggest hurdle.
“Looking for a pet-friendly hotel. It took us about three hours before we found this one. All I packed was my dog’s cage, their belongs, I brought two pairs of shoes and three outfits that’s it,” said Emereuwa.
“We didn’t have tons of time. We packed last night. We have our cat with us,” said Wynhoff.
Wynhoff is another evacuee from New Orleans. He made a stop in Tuscaloosa but is headed up to Tennessee.
“We’re planning on staying in a hotel for about four nights and if it goes longer because it’s bad in New Orleans then we’ll stay longer and if not we’ll head back,” said Wynhoff.
There’s a lot of uncertainly around the storm as it makes landfall but one thing is certain for those from Louisiana they continue to have an optimistic attitude.
“I’ve booked to stay out here until Tuesday. So hopefully by Tuesday, everything will be back to normal I’m just crossing my fingers,” said Emereuwa.
“Hopefully it’s not too bad I would like to go back sooner rather than later,” said Wynhoff.
As people evacuate ahead of the storm there are people heading down into the storm to help with the recovery such as non-profits and utility workers.