Hurricane evacuees find shelter in Chattanooga - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane evacuees find shelter in Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Millions of Floridians were ordered to evacuate forcing families desperate to seek shelter, some finding it here in Tennessee.

It's hard to imagine packing a lifetime into this car. it's simple when you're faced with thoughts like this. 

"All I could think about was floating down stream, trying to save four children by myself," Ebony Hayward said.

It's that motherly instinct that gave Hayward the courage to evacuate Tampa, a place her family considers home. 

"We took $60 and got on the road. I told them wherever these $60 takes us is where we're going to stop," she said.

With no plan and little gas Hayward ended up 20 hours away in Chattanooga and to her surprise it's one of five locations in Tennessee the Red Cross set up for evacuees.

"I'm like oh my gosh, oh my gosh we're six minutes away from the nearest Red Cross, that was just god sent," Hayward explained.

Going down slide, playing at board games, and watching movies, it's not what this family of five imagined doing today, but they're safe. And right now, that's all that matters for this mother.

"It's just me, if i didn't make this decision, who was going to make it for them?" Hayward said.

The family of five aren't sure how long they will stay at the shelter, but they don't plan ongoing back to Florida anytime soon. 

In addition to Red Cross shelters, the Tennessee Department of Tourism is also providing a list of vacancies at all Tennessee Welcome Centers. 

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