Ivan tough on trees, but business till goes on

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 3, 2004

Hurricane Ivan was tough on trees, scathing on shingles and awful on awnings, but it wasn’t bad for business. Troy hotels and motels were full of evacuees from southern Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

Evacuees were crowded around a TV watching weather reports in the dark lobby of the Hampton Inn.

&uot;It is worse than what we thought.&uot; Allen Lowery of Pensacola, Fla., said.

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Allen and his wife, Carolyn, said that people they know who stayed in Pensacola regretted it.

&uot;My sister and her husband were in such shock they couldn’t talk,&uot; Carolyn said. &uot;They said they spent four hours in a hallway under mattresses.&uot;

&uot;We talked to a friend this morning who had to cut his way out of his driveway. He said it looked like atomic bombs got dropped,&uot; Carolyn said.

&uot;&uot;From what we understand it will be at least three weeks before everyone gets water and power back,&uot; Allen said.

The Lowerys said they hoped to go back home on Friday morning.

With the power out in Troy, evacuees struggled to keep themselves entertained Thursday afternoon.

&uot;Mostly we watched the news until the power went out,&uot; Allen Lowery said.

&uot;We played cards and did crossword puzzles,&uot; Edith Brooks of Orange Beach said.

&uot;Some of the kids were playing board games,&uot; Keith Price, chief engineer for the Hampton Inn said.

Price said that there was no damage done to the Hampton Inn.

&uot;We had emergency lighting, which only lasted for about three hours,&uot; he said.

The Motel 8 and the Comfort Inn were also full of evacuees.

&uot;We had people standing in line who wanted rooms but we had to turn them away,&uot; Ruby Rushing, a housekeeper at the Motel 8 and resident of Troy said.

&uot;My sister has a lot of trees down, she can’t get to her house,&uot; Rushing said.

Evacuees were standing under the awning and sitting out side their rooms at the Comfort Inn Thursday afternoon.

&uot;I live in a mobile home, I called the hotel last night and they had one room left,&uot; Jimmy Owens from Elba said.

Owens said there was not much damage to his property.

&uot;I went back today and looked and there is minimal damage I came back here for tonight because I already paid for it.&uot; he said.

&uot;It has been kind of scary waiting the storm out,&uot; Joe Glover of Brundidge said.

Glover left his trailer home and went the Comfort Inn in Troy for safety.

&uot;I can replace everything else but I can’t replace life,&uot; he said.

In the early afternoon on Waffle House was crowded with people.

&uot;I didn’t think I would get this good of a meal today,&uot; said Harvey Crawford, a senior at Troy University.

Crawford was worried about his vehicle getting damaged so he parked at the Wal-Mart parking lot.

&uot;I am the only vehicle parked up at Wal-Mart,&uot; he said.

&uot;We are in the process of making the last orders, then we are getting ready close&uot; Ms. Burnice a waitress at Waffle House said.

Ivery Stokes, a truck driver for Wal-Mart said, &uot;It is not as bad as I thought it would be. It is pretty bad, but not as bad as I expected.&uot;