SEVIERVILLE (WATE) – Families living in the path of Hurricane Matthew are evacuating the area and turning Sevier County into a vacation spot. Some say this vacation is not only keeping them safe from the storm, but also giving them a good excuse to spend time with family.
“We can replace anything we own but we can’t replace us,” said Neal Hoff, an evacuee from South Carolina.
Hoff lives in South Carolina, but evacuated the area with his family because of Hurricane Matthew.
More coverage: Hurricane Matthew
“Tidal creeks and low line areas were already filling up with tidal waters,” said Hoff.
It was a sign that urged him to get out.
“Columbia, Orangeburg… there were no hotels,” said Hoff.
Therefore, his family came to Sevier County.
“With having family in the area it was a good place to visit,” said Hoff.
Other families are also visiting the area because of the storm.
“They wanted everyone out by 3 o’clock Wednesday afternoon,” said Diana Hurt, vacationing in Myrtle Beach.
Hurt and her family were evacuated from their hotel. They now are having their vacation in Sevier County.
“A five hour drive turned into an eight, almost nine hour drive,” said Selena Hurt.
Finding a place to stay in Sevier County was also difficult.
“Anything that we tried to look for hotels or anything, going just like that,” said Selena Hurt.
It was not the original plan but the Hurt family is just thankful their loved ones are safe. In the meantime, Hoff and his family are hoping for the best when they get home.