Evacuees to NW LA on Saturday Face Hotel Reservation Barriers | Community
SHREVEPORT, La – Most, if not all of the hotels in the Shreveport / Bossier area are full after those evacuating Hurricane Ida drive in.
âOh, my God, that was crazy,â said Mary Auzenne. âIt took me at least four hours to find a room. I was lucky enough to find a Holiday Inn. Auzeene drove her family from their home in Opelousas, Louisiana. The three hour drive from Auzeene to Shreveport was shorter than the time it took to find a hotel.
Chelsey Zeringue and her mother Debra Clark were six to seven hours away from New Orleans. They avoided the congested road and drove through Jackson, Mississippi, on their way to Shreveport. Chelsey and her mother were lucky enough to book a room early.
“We decided that we were going pretty early yesterday morning,” Zeringue said. “So getting the hotel was pretty easy.” However, the rapid influx of visitors has put a strain on the hospitality industry.
âYou can tell they were sold out quickly,â Zeringue said. “Even the family members who are here with us, we tried to get one maybe about an hour later at the same hotel and it was next to impossible.”
After researching hotels on well-known travel sites for Saturday and Sunday stays, all but a few of the hotels in the town of Shreveport and Bossier showed they were booked. KTBS called those who presented vacancies, these were also reserved.
A family stuck in traffic jams entering Shreveport from Bogalusa, Louisiana had the help of a family member to secure their hotel rooms. Daphne Butler came from Dallas to get rooms for her family. The hotels with available rooms told him that they would not keep rooms but would give them to those presently present.
âIf you want to book three to four bedrooms or whatever the number of bedrooms, you have to be here to get them,â Butler said. “I had to literally walk 90 to 100 miles to get here, to get these hotels. So my family could have a place to go.”
Even with a reserved room, this evacuation process can be stressful. Especially to those who have been through this before. For Debra Clark, this is not the worst.
âThe stress comes from sitting here waiting to get home to find out if your house and whatever is still intact,â Clark said.