PORTLAND Ore., -- Three Portland hotels have offered to extend discounted rates for Gay Softball World Series players as Hurricane Irma makes its way to Florida, and a few Florida teams are stranded in Portland, unable to go home.
Oxford Suites, Doubletree, and Red Lion Jantzen Beach are all discounting rates another 10 percent on top of the contact rate. Some Florida teams have already left the Rose City, but those remaining are stranded for several days.
Our brothers and sisters from Florida are severely affected,” said Scott Cummins, PR rep for the GSWS board. “We want to do what we can to make them feel welcome, comfortable and cared for while they stay in our city a few days longer than expected.”
Charles Dunn is head coach of the Orlando Unicorns, a team playing in the championship.
“This week has been very stressful because I live in Hollywood, Florida, and we were under evacuation, and my partner is at home, and this is his first experience with a hurricane,” Dunn said. ”We’re just hoping for the best.”
“All my family is there, my son is there, so they’re hunkering down, waiting for it to happen,” said assistant coach Juan Miller. “The biggest thing for us is worrying about our families, and trying to focus on this. That’s the biggest thing, and keep our team’s morale up, also, because everybody on the team is worried about their family.”
As Hurricane Irma barrels forward, it has prompted mass evacuations in Florida.
In Naples, Florida, Jennifer Owsiany made the decision to evacuate with her family.
“This is our first time evacuating,” she said. “We left yesterday around noon. Traffic was ok headed up the state. A little bit of traffic jams around the big city, and we left for Crestview, so we’re in the panhandle about an hour east of Alabama.”
As she waits with her family, she’s worried she might have to evacuate again. But, like the Orlando softball players, she’s holding onto hope that everything will be OK.
“It’s very tough, [in the Northwest you] have snowstorms and fires, and it’s just another natural event that we’re just trying to get through,” she said.
“We’re getting by,” said Coach Dunn. “We’re getting by, and we’re hopeful for the best. It would be great to come out with a win, and deal with the whole hurricane situation.”