Bay area sees Hurricane Matthew evacuees from Florida’s east coast

The Stay Inn & Suites in Bartow, sold out of rooms Wednesday and expects to remain sold out through Saturday.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) — In Pinellas County, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is marshaling together resources for people on Florida’s east coast who are evacuating as Hurricane Matthew approaches.

They, along with Visit Florida, have put together a one-stop shop website for evacuees to find hotel accommodations in the Tampa Bay area. People can log on to for a link to resources. Visit St. Pete is also working with with to help evacuees find lodging.

As the storm approaches, hotels are seeing an uptick in reservations. But there have also been a few cancellations, as people decide not to visit the state in wake of the storm. Those cancellations seem to be quickly replaced by evacuees looking for shelter.

On Thursday morning, Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered mandatory evacuations for people along the east coast. According to the governor’s office, some 1.5 million Floridians are under evacuation orders. The governor also activated an additional 1,000 National Guard members. 2,500 are currently activated.

In a news release issued on Thursday, the governor said  “Time is up.  You have to evacuate now if you are in an evacuation zone.  To everyone on Florida’s east coast, if you are reluctant to evacuate, just think of all the people the Hurricane has already killed.  You and your family could be among these numbers if you don’t take this seriously.”

See the latest track for Hurricane Matthew.

Weather Resources/Maps To Track Matthew:

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