Lately, it seems in the Lake Oconee area Fall begins with offering respite to hurricane evacuees. We did not recognize the trend at first, but we would notice storm warnings from the Georgia and South Carolina coasts would lead to increased traffic, busy grocery stores, and fully booked hotels. Requests would then go out in the area for rooms in local vacation homes, or unused second homes to accommodate the hurricane evacuees. Last Fall the immigrating crowds were avoiding Hurricane Matthew. We finally realized that Lake Oconee is one of the first large locations in which fleeing evacuees going eastward from the Atlantic coast could find plentiful restaurants and hotels.
This year’s Irma made even more of an impression! Florida evacuees joined other anticipated coastal travelers as they headed north early in the week before the hurricane was expected to hit. Some went as far as Atlanta or Tennessee to find shelter with friends and relatives. Our local Publix was prepared with extra shipments of staples that were staged in trucks behind the store. When I was checking out at Publix with my staples, a bewildered shopper behind me asked: “why are all these people in this store today?” Another sign of our temporary residents was the sighting of Florida license plates seen parked in the driveways of grandmothers and friends who hosted their loved ones. This time, however, the bad weather passed through Georgia, too! Irma followed the evacuees!
When the much-awaited Tropical Storm Irma finally came through the Lake Country, we experienced a day of steady rain and higher than normal wind gusts. There were a good number of trees felled which created our worst problem – loss of electrical power! Although some rural neighborhoods were without power for 3-4 days, we were lucky in the Lake area to have it restored after about 24 hours. During those darkened hours, I wondered how the adults were entertaining the young children who were used to watching television, playing computer games, and going to the pool!
So it seems that hosting hurricane evacuees is a part of Lake Oconee Fall events as much as football games, raking leaves, and Halloween parties! Several owners who rent by VRBO had repeat business from coastal residents who are running away from bad weather this year, as well as last year. Lake Country residents are always gracious to welcome people who need a respite from the bad weather. It is a friendly community to visit, or to find a home! Come on down and find a home in this warm, caring community. There is never a dull moment!
Lake Oconee is a nice place to live! Come visit and enjoy our friendly community!
For more information, call Suzie (706-347-1115) or Jim Hudson (706-453-6253)
RE/MAX Lake Oconee
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