Local places offering parking for displaced Florida vehicles ahead of Irma

Published: Sep. 7, 2017 at 7:04 PM CDT
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The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green is one of a couple places offering up space for those displaced by Hurricane Irma.

"This is Kentucky. We like to welcome people," says the museum's Katie Ellison.

Ellison says it was an easy decision to reach out to those affected by Irma.

"We have a huge parking lot, and we can offer some security if they want to drop trailers, drive their RV and park here, or vehicles, not just Corvettes," she says.

As the National Corvette Museum begins extending a helping hand to the Sunshine State, Katie Ellison reminds 13 News it's not all that uncommon to find a Florida license plate in their parking lot.

"Florida is one of the top three states for Corvette ownership," she says, "so we have a huge contingency of friends and followers down there. "

One of those Florida plates you'd have found on Thursday belongs to Donald MacInnes.

"We live in a constant state of preparedness," says the Miami, FL native. "I was born in Miami so I'm used to hurricanes."

MacInnes says not knowing what lies ahead is the worst part of these situations.

"You're not sure what's going to happen, and you don't even know where the storm's going," he continues.

MacInnis says his family has been through this before, including Hurricane Andrew.

"As soon as I knew everyone was going to be out of town and safe, I hit the road and took off."

MacInnis, a Chevy Dealership employee in Miami Lakes, FL, had already planned his trip to Bowling Green Green, heading up for the Holley LS Fest.

Now, he's just waiting out the storm.

"I prepared everything before I left," he goes on. "I've been working for Chevrolet for so many years, Corvettes are my passion. I love the cars. I love the LS engines. I was there before the L-S engines, I'll be there after the LS engines."

"We had a lot of Corvette folks that were affected by Hurricane Harvey unfortunately," says Katie Ellison, "and in that situation, it happened pretty quickly and I think a lot of people didn't know what to expect."

"Corvette is not just about the car, it's about the people. When you come home to Bowling Green it really is like a second home for a lot o those folks and we consider them family."

The Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport has also offered up space for parking and tying down aircraft.

Airport Manager Rob Barnett says they've received calls from airports in states down south expressing a need for more space for Florida residents to keep their larger modes of transportation.

Barnett says they'll allow them to be stored throughout the airport and inside hangars.

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