Harrisburg (Dauphin County) -—As Hurricane Irene nears, thousands of people are fleeing her path and headed for safer ground.
Many of those evacuees are headed to Central Pennsylvania.
On Friday night, the Harrisburg Hilton was booked solid and near being sold out for the rest of the weekend.
While not an evacuee, Kristine Bennett of Bethlehem, PA was suppose to be in Atlantic City this weekend for a her bachelorette party.
“My friend called me and said they’re evacuating. We can’t go – we don’t know what to?”
Bennett said, “Irene ruined our plans – we are now in Harrisburg.”
Joe Massaro, General Manager of the Harrisburg Hilton said, the capital city is out of harm’s way, and relatively easy to get to my any means, including train.
He said many of his overnight guests are from the New York and New Jersey areas.
“It’s convenient also because Amtrak run from New York to Philadelphia to here.”
While millions may be affected by the path of Irene, the Hilton acknowledges the financial silver lining but according to Massaro, “We are concerned our guests feel safe and get back home quickly.”
As for Bennett, she said rain or shine, Irene will not spoil her weekend. “I’ve never been here before – I’m sure it will be fun and exciting no matter what.”