Michael evacuees find refuge at Archusa

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QUITMAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Some Florida residents have heeded evacuation orders and are now staying at Archusa Creek Water Park, while Hurricane Michael strikes.

“I’m here because my best friend is Mimmo, he owns the restaurant in Quitman, Mississippi, and I just called him, and then I talked to him and then he suggested to me this beautiful place here, in this beautiful lake, and then we just decided to come and actually spend a few days with his family,” says Mimmo Lainnusa, an evacuee from Destin.

Threats of catastrophic storm surge have the evacuees worried about how exactly it will impact their homes.

“We’re grateful that we’re okay,” says Erika Dibonito, also an evacuee from Destin. “It’s just material stuff, but still, it’s kind of scary not knowing what we’re going to come back to.”

The hurricane is also taking its toll on the children who have evacuated with their parents.

“The seven year old is very happy, he’s playing around, and it’s a vacation, and the 14 year old, he’s very concerned I think,” Dibonito says. “He doesn’t want to show it, but he’s very, very concerned. And a lot of his family- his friends stayed, so I think even though he doesn’t say, he’s scared.”

Evacuees we spoke with say they hoping to head back to their homes as early as Thursday.

“And then we’re going to call some friends that stay in Destin and then if it’s bad, maybe we’re going to stay an extra day, but if it’s not, we just plan to pack tomorrow,” Lainnusa says.