Charlotte Motor Speedway fills up with Florence evacuees

- At least 60 campers were parked at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Wednesday night, each of them filled with families fleeing the coast.

People were coming from all over the NC Coast, from places like Nags Head, Emerald Isle and New Bern. Now, the Charlotte area is their temporary home.

Kristy Leanes of Surf City made sure to grab what was close to her heart before she hit the road, like pictures and plaques.

“It was still hanging on the wall, so I had to grab it,” Leanes said. She wasn’t sure if any items would survive the storm. 

Her kids, parents, siblings and nearly two dozen pets drove about five hours, in three campers, to get here.

Because the coast is supposed to get hit the hardest, many families are fleeing to safer areas.

“We may never see our home in one piece ever again," said Leanes. "But we had to leave."

Workers at the Speedway have opened up two of their campgrounds for families with RV's. One campground is free and the other campground ifs being offered at a reduced rate.

RELATED: Charlotte Motor Speedway welcomes evacuees from Hurricane Florence

“Right now people are in need. So this gives them a comfortable place to stay, gives them a diversion, even if just for a couple of days. We just hope they feel like they're welcomed,” said Speedway employee, Scott Cooper.

Crawford Dawson left from Emerald Isle and arrived to the speedway on Wednesday afternoon. 

“I can get new stuff but not a new life,” Dawson said. 

He took the evacuation routes, which he said, were very congested.

"I finally got here," he said. 

Speedway workers are asking for camper to check in at the wood cabin on at the ZMAX Dragway, located on Bruton Smith Blvd. Officials need to keep a record of who is on the property and to help assign spots.

We’re told if needed, the speedway campgrounds can fit thousands of people. Those staying on the property have access to on-site bathrooms, laundry rooms and playground facilities.

For more information about Hurricane Florence, visit the FOX 46 Resource Center

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