• Florence evacuees helping Jacksonville economy

    By: Varisa Lall Dass , Action News Jax


    The storm surge in the Carolinas is not the only thing rising. The number of Carolinians coming to Northeast Florida continues to increase.

    We showed you businesses with higher sales and sold-out hotels at noon Friday.

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    Some families tell Action News Jax they are turning their evacuation into a vacation. 

    South Carolinian Kacie Kelly said, “We’ve had a good experience so far in Jacksonville.”

    The Surf and Skate Shop on Jax Beach says they’ve seen a 10 to 15 percent increase in business.

    In neighboring Fernandina Beach, restaurants Pi Infinite Combinations, David’s restaurant, and 29 South Pizzeria say they had over a 10 percent increase in sales.

    One owner said, “Evacuees have sold out the island” adding, “We want to show them Southern hospitality.” 

    South Carolinian Rod Trevino says he’s noticed. Everyone had been “very welcoming," he said. "So we definitely appreciate that. Lots of smiles.”

    Action News Jax reporter Varisa Lall Dass called the following hotels and found they were closed Friday night, but had openings for Saturday as of 9 a.m.: Casa Marina (no pets), Best Western (no pets), Courtyard Marriott (no pets), Holiday Inn Express (pets allowed).

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