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Oglebay offering free accommodations for those displaced by Hurricane Florence

While the storm hit more than 600 miles away from Wheeling, Oglebay Resort wanted to pitch in and help.

Hurricane Florence slammed into the North Carolina coast on Friday, packing Category 1 strength winds and lots of rain.

Hundreds of the people have been rescued by emergency responders and volunteers.

More than 20,000 people across the state have sought refuge in shelters.

So far, more than 600,000 people have been left without power, and there are four confirmed hurricane-related deaths.

While the storm hit more than 600 miles away from Wheeling, Oglebay Resort wanted to pitch in and help.

“The citizens of West Virginia have been through devastating flooding in the past, so we saw this as our opportunity to give back and show that true West Virginia hospitality,” said Lindsey McGlaughlin, marketing manager.

“We started talking about it initially and our initial thought was, ‘Who would really drive 13 hours to seek shelter?’ McGlaughlin asked. “But as we saw that the storm was getting worse and worse, we thought ‘wow we might really be able to do some good here." So that's when we rolled out the free accommodations offer for anyone with a valid North Carolina or South Carolina driver's license and proof of residency.”

And since making the announcement on Thursday, the resort has seen a handful of people take it up on the offer.

“Many people have taken advantage of the offer,” McGlaughlin said. “We have about a dozen reservations right now, and we're encouraging more people to call our reservations hotline top check availability.”

Oglebay is hoping this move won't only help people who need a place to stay during the storm, but also encourage other places to offer a shelter to those in need.

“It's so important. Truly, we hope that we inspire other resort-style properties to do the same thing and extend that hospitality,” McGlaughlin said.

The complimentary accommodations last through Sept. 20.

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