Area hotels were filling with evacuees and local residents seeking shelter from Tropical Storm Isaac, according to hotel managers.
Bob Harrison, general manager of the Hampton Inn in Morgan City, said his hotel has seen increased reservations from support help coming to help after the storm.
These include police officers, news crews and other support personnel. As of today, the hotel has picked up 20 additional reservations.
Harrison said the hotel has also taken in some locals who felt better about riding out the storm there rather than at home.
“We will operate through the storm,” he said. “We were built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, there is a lot of steel in the place, and we have a generator to run the lobby and refrigeration. We may not have AC, but we can run some fans and people can use the lobby to charge up cell phones and stay in touch.”
Harrison said when Morgan City lost power in June, everyone staying at the hotel “survived and was happy,” and he expected the same in the wake of Isaac.
Kristy Toups, assistant general manager of the Holiday Inn in Morgan City, said her hotel is also seeing an increase in activity due to the storm.
The hotel is hosting some evacuees, emergency personnel prepositioning for the storm as well as utility personnel and railroad crew, she said.
Locals are also beginning to trickle in to be safe, yet close to home, she said.
“Locals, especially those who live in mobile homes, come here to shelter for the storm and be close to home,” Toups said. “We are not busy right now, but we will see many more as the winds begin to pick up. We have seen it before.”
Employees are also being housed at the Holiday Inn to keep them safe, she said.
Clerk Naomi Campbell of the Days Inn in Morgan City said her hotel was getting calls from local residents inquiring about room availability and if the hotel had a backup generator.
Offshore companies have reserved large blocks of rooms to house evacuated personnel, but all available rooms that were not reserved will be made available to anyone needing a place to shelter for the storm, she said.
The hotel lobby will have generator power to allow the hotel to continue to operate and allow people electricity to be able to charge phones and power other necessities, Campbell said.