Even unconventional places in WNC opening their doors to those fleeing Florence

While Hurricane Florence continues to hurdle toward the Carolinas, many evacuees are heading to the mountains. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

While Hurricane Florence continues to hurdle toward the Carolinas, many evacuees are heading to the mountains.

While many local hotels still have some rooms available, some non-conventional places are also opening their doors.

For the next few days, the cabins at Camp Cedar Cliff in Asheville will be packed with evacuees.

"We talked as a staff and said 'let’s open up camp and see if anybody would have the need of shelter here at camp,'" camp director Tim Brady said.

So, he made the announcement about noon Tuesday, letting people know the camp's 24 cabins were available - free of charge.

"By about 3 o’clock, we were pretty close to capacity," Brady said.

This isn’t the first time the camp has opened its doors to people in need. The camp also offered space last year to people facing a similar situation during Hurricane Irma.

"It ended up being an incredible community of people," Brady said.

Many of them brought some unexpected guests.

"Twenty-two dogs, six cats, a turtle, a cockatoo and a pot belly pig named Bruno came last year," Brady said.

With Hurricane Florence still looking powerful, Brady expects the same this year.

"They’re not here on a vacation. T, they’re here bringing everything with them that they have to keep and want to save," Brady said.

But not everyone evacuating to the mountains can stay at the camp.

"We want people to know that in Asheville and Buncombe County there are rooms," Explore Asheville communications director Dodie Stephens said.

Many hotels and bed and breakfasts have rooms available.

"We have created a landing page that is gathering that information and insight on who has availability, updates on cancellation policies or pet policies in light of the evacuees," Stephens said.

"I'm proud of my town stepping up and saying let's help our coastal friends," Brady said.

The cabins at Camp Cedar Cliff are booked, but the camp has a waiting list.

You can support the evacuees at the camp by making donations.

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