DeSoto State Park is one many Alabama parks housing storm evacuees

Northeast Alabama

DeSoto State Park

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. - DeSoto is one of many Alabama State Parks, opening their doors to those needing to evacuate. "We were notified by Montgomery office back on Wednesday, Tuesday to get ready," says Ken Thomas, park superintendent.

After receiving that call, they immediately got prepared. More than half of the current park guests are Florida or Georgia residents, seeking safety from the storm.

"The best thing for people to do if they have access to the internet is to go to They can go to a specific park and check reservations on line," says Thomas.

"One Florida woman told me she doesn't know what she would've done if DeSoto State Park wasn't renting out their cabins. "On Thursday, I had two cabins rented and when I found out I wasn't coming I immediately gave them up," says Libby Gause, a Florida resident.

She says they planned to leave Tarpon Springs, Florida on Thursday, but the traffic made them think otherwise. "I have a 97-year-old mother that I didn't want to go through this," says Gause.

After hearing more and more about Hurricane Irma, those plans changed and Libby went back to DeSoto State Park for help. "On Saturday morning when I called, the blessing was there was a room left that they could get."

She says the park and their service has definitely been the calm in the middle of their storm. "It was truly a blessing," says Gause. DeSoto State Park still has availability, as well as other parks.

Click here for a list of parks currently helping storm evacuees. 


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