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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — More than 1 million people are under evacuation orders due to Hurricane Florence and some of those evacuees heard an offer from an Atlantic City casino and are riding out the storm at the new Ocean Resort.
For Ray and Vanessa Iacovone, their eyes are glued to the television.
“It’s only a matter of time before it hits Fayetteville,” said Vanessa Iacovone.
Their house is in Fayetteville, North Carolina, which is in the middle of Florence.
“See that eye, 12 inches, that’s where we are,” said Iacovone.
The Iacovones packed up 14 family members in six vehicles and drove 10 hours north to Atlantic City.
“Basically uprooting them. It’s easy for a soldier to do it, we’re so used to it, but doing it for multiple people, especially under the age of 10, it can be tedious,” said Iacovone.
They’re taking advantage of an offer by Ocean Resort Casino which gives free hotel rooms to Florence evacuees.
“I am actually truly grateful. I actually wanted to thank them, especially with our family being so big,” said Iacovone.
Her daughter, Destanie McLaughlin, has two young children – a 2-month-old and a 1-year-old.
“I couldn’t have my kids stay there. It was just the better option and I’m thankful that they’re paying for this and we could take advantage and get away from that storm,” said McLaughlin.
The family of 14 will spend the weekend in four separate rooms, but they can’t help but check on their home through their neighbor via Facetime.
“My house is right around the corner from here and there’s a lake back there,” said Iacovone.
There’s a constant fear for the worst because McLaughlin’s grandmother had to stay behind due to health reasons.
“I’ve never lost somebody in my lifetime, so to think that I could lose someone is very terrifying,” said McLaughlin.
The Iacovones are just some of hundreds of people staying here who fled from Florence. The casino is out of complimentary rooms until Sunday.