Americans opened their homes to welcome people fleeing Hurricane Irma 0Americans opened their homes to welcome people fleeing Hurricane Irma 0

Danielle Taylor and Brittany Gooding (right) at the Atlanta Motor racetrack in Hampton, Georgia on September 10 after fleeing Hurricane Irma from Hollywood, Florida .

A heart of solidarity is the gift Florida families fleeing Hurricane Irma are receiving these days from the people of Georgia, USA, Reuters reported on September 9.

Before Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida, authorities asked about 6.3 million people, accounting for 30% of the state’s population, to evacuate.

Having overcome hours of traffic jams on the interstate, they were at risk of falling into darkness because hotels and campgrounds in Georgia were fully booked through the end of this week.

When churches in Atlanta called for donations of mattresses and blankets to provide shelter for storm runners, Mary Hoyt, a homeschool teacher who lives in the city’s eastern suburb of Decatur, decided to do something, too.

Thinking about it, she helped create the Atlanta Superstorm Solidarity network to connect evacuees who had no place to stay with local families willing to welcome them.

Thanks to this network, 75 families fleeing the storm found a place to rest.

Atlanta Motor Raceway, accustomed to hosting thousands of people at racing events these days, also opened its facilities in Hampton about 40 kilometers south of the city for free to storm runners.

Although many camping sites at Indian Springs Park, Georgia are full, park manager Katherine Darsey said runners are still welcome.

On the evening of September 9, the website Airbnb created a list of 85 families in Georgia and Florida who agreed to open their homes for free for people fleeing Hurricane Irma.

Not only people, pets evacuated because of Hurricane Irma were also welcomed in Georgia after convoys of pets evacuated from Texas and Louisiana last month due to Hurricane Harvey.

An equestrian center on the outskirts of Alpharetta agreed to accept 150 horses from Florida for free.

`I can’t believe how kind everyone here is,` Cindy Voelz, 55, staying at a friend’s house in Atlanta, shared about volunteers helping her find lost cats on the storm path.

Hurricane Irma formed in late August and strengthened to level 4 on September 4, making it the strongest storm ever to appear in the Atlantic Ocean.

Irma made landfall in the US just days after Hurricane Harvey caused record rains and severe flooding in Texas, killing at least 60 people and causing an estimated $180 billion in damage.

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