POLK COUNTY, Fla. -- Some Hurricane Florence evacuees are enjoying an unexpected vacation in Polk County.

  • Family evacuates from South Carolina to Polk County
  • Hurricane Florence hit the Carolina coast this week
  • Family said they have been welcomed with open arms

Dundee resident Merissa Green couldn’t sleep as she worried about her extended family in South Carolina.

"I could hear the anxiousness in my [cousin’s] voice and he said 'we need to come down there,'" Merissa Green said.

When they decided to evacuate Thursday, she welcomed all eight of them with open arms.

"I’m glad that I left because when I got here, we were blessed so much," Vickman Green said.

Merissa Green told her friends on Facebook that her extended family was coming and asked for prayers. Her friends responded with donations.

"One colleague that gave me an extra air mattress to use," Merissa Green said.

People also dropped off cake, barbecue and snacks.

"I love to cook and I was prepared to do whatever I needed to do for my family," Merissa Green said. "But it was just a relief that other people came forward."

She said another friend surprised her family by giving them tickets to Legoland Florida. Then, Legoland gave them passes so they could skip the lines.

"It’s nice. It’s my first time here," said Nancy Washington, one of the evacuees who came on the trip.

"I think it’s great," Jahmaisha Green said. "It has nice little attractions and stuff. I like how they build stuff out of anything."

While they’re not sure what will ultimately happen to their homes, the family has found comfort in Polk County knowing they can stay as long as they need.