“We wanted to make sure people knew if they didn't know where else to go and a lot of times situations like this can be very uncomfortable and not just physically but physiologically. We wanted people to know that they had a place to come,” said Jack Markey, Frederick County Department of Emergency Preparedness.
County officials say only a handful of residents are going to the shelters while hotels across town have been filling up with residents waiting for their power to come back on.
“The phones have been ringing off the hook all day long for the past couple of days,” said Michael Henningsen, Director of Hotel Operations, Hampton Inn and Suites.
For the five Hampton Inn and Suites hotel chain in Frederick, all of them are book to capacity and have seen a 20 percent increase in business.
“Typically when we have storms, those people trying to do business in this market can't get in and in this situation they got replaced by people who couldn't really spend the night in their own home so we're very fortunate at this time of the year to have the rooms available to help people in a very difficult time,” said Henningsen.
County officials say if they continue to have low shelter turnout, they'll reevaluate if the should shelter stay open.
“You know in circumstances like this it's a real challenge to get a good assessment of what's going on in the community. We know where the power outages are, we know the challenges but we don't always have a good feel for how people are handling it,” said Markey.
County officials hope the low shelter turnout means residents have taken their preparedness messages seriously.