Weather News

NASCAR track offers Hurricane Dorian evacuees a free place to stay in Charlotte

NASCAR’s Charlotte Motor Speedway announced Monday that evacuees seeking shelter from Hurricane Dorian are welcome to hunker down at the popular track north of Charlotte.

The Rock City Campground and bathhouse facilities at the track are being made available at no cost to people trying to outrun the Category 4 hurricane, speedway spokesman Scott Cooper said.

Slow moving Hurricane Dorian is expected to bring torrential rain and dangerous winds to coastal counties from Florida to North Carolina throughout the week, according to the National Hurricane Center. People from any of the impacted states are welcome at the campground, Cooper said.

“We have about 20 campsites occupied by Dorian evacuees and 12 to 14 reservations that are hurricane related,” Cooper told The Charlotte Observer. “The majority are from Fla, but we also have evacuees on the property from Georgia and the Carolinas.”

The 200-space campground is just off Interstate 85 on Bruton Smith Boulevard in Concord. The only requirement, Cooper said, is for evacuees to check in at the Camping World Racing Resort office at 6600 Bruton Smith Boulevard.

“We have done this during some past hurricanes and we’ve had families bring multiple generations and pets here to stay during the storm. One family brought nine pets (last year), including dogs, cats and a turtle,” Cooper said.

“We certainly can’t imagine what people must be going through when they face the idea of evacuating their home, or even losing their home. But we feel the least we can do is offer them a place to stay and some Southern hospitality.”

The timing of Hurricane Dorian’s arrival continues to be adjusted do to its 1 mph pace, but the latest forecast calls for winds in the 40 to 70 mph range to arrive in South Carolina by 8 p.m. Tuesday and in North Carolina by 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Dorian’s eye will pass by North Carolina’s Outer Banks at around 8 a.m. Friday, forecasters predict.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, the LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.