Upstate hotels out of rooms as Hurricane Matthew evacuees head inland

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – People heeding evacuation warnings are already arriving in the upstate, and not everyone is staying in a shelter.

Local hotels are running out of room… Fast.

Charleston area residents Ernie and Teresa Miller are now hours from home.

“A year ago these last few days, we had all the flooding in Charleston,” they said.  They did not hesitate leaving when governor Nikki Haley announced evacuations. “When she said that – we called and got reservations.”

Hampton Inn and Suites General Manager Barrett Alexander said it appears other people had the same idea.

“As soon as Nikki Haley did the conference yesterday, our phones started ringing,” he said. “Our company in general has 7 properties in the area and they’re all solid as well.”

He says now they’re directing people outside of the Upstate.

Booking sites show rooms sold out in Spartanburg and Greenville.

The Millers are glad they got in early. “They’re turning people away – I feel sorry for them,” said Ernie.

Though they say it took more than 6 hours to get here. “It was not good. It was bumper to bumper all the way,” they said.

Now, their main concern is hoping the storm spares their hometown.

“The unknown is what really drives you crazy.”

In Wednesday’s press conference, Governor Haley said they have not seen any price gouging so far at hotels across the state. But – like gas prices – that is something they’re monitoring closely.

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