CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Motor Speedway opened its Rock City Campground for Hurricane Irma evacuees at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning.
A sign out front of the campground has been posted to welcome drivers looking for a place away from Irma's path.
"We are happy to open our doors to help those needing a place to seek shelter during this difficult time," said Greg Walter, the executive vice president of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We look forward to show them the hospitality for which we're known and they deserve. We are fortunate to have camping available to accommodate both hurricane evacuees and the drag racing fans who will join us next week."
The campground has made 14 acres of land available for people to camp out free of charge.
On Friday, crews installed about six portable toilets as well as bath and shower houses.
Scott Cooper with Charlotte Motor Speedway says they have enough space for more than 2,000 people.
"Certainly people have a lot more on their mind than coming to a fun destination like Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Cooper. "But if coming here give them an opportunity to feel secure with where they are and maybe take their mind off of what is going on back in their hometown or at their actual home, we want to be able to provide that option to them.
As of Friday afternoon, nobody had arrived at the campgrounds yet.
But Cooper says they have received calls from people who say they're on the way from places like Charleston, SC.
The speedway will keep the campground open as long as needed for evacuees.
However, Cooper says it could be a challenge to accommodate everyone because the speedway has a drag race planned for next weekend.
"We have to be prepared for a really quick turn next week," said Cooper. "If we have inclement weather on Monday and Tuesday and then will start seeing an influx of drag racing fans on Wednesday and Thursday looking to head to a weekend event, we are going to be ready for that."
The campground will also a serve as standby staging station for Duke Energy and their service trucks to be able to handle downed trees or power lines.
You can access the Rock City Campground off Bruton Smith Boulevard through Entrance Z and will have access to bathhouse facilities on the speedway property.
You must also check in at the ticket office on the second floor of Smith Tower at the Speedway’s main entrance. After-hour arrivals will be handled by Charlotte Motor Speedway security.
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