MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Bluff City has become a destination for many Isaac evacuees. There are reports of more than a thousand people from the Gulf Coast riding out the storm in Memphis. Many evacuees are spending time at tourist attractions. Families say fun activities are a welcome distraction for their children.
One New Orleans family survived three hurricanes. The Louisiana brother and sister are hurricane veterans. Katrina went right through their neighborhood. They were about 4 and 5 years old at the time and escaped to Memphis. They're back again; a different storm but the same spirit of survival.
"I don't have to worry about anything. It's a lot safer here," said 12-year old Matthew Borgatti, who played with his sister at The Children’s Museum of Memphis Thursday afternoon. He and his family live about a half hour away from New Orleans in Mandeville, Louisiana.
"If we were probably home it'll be very scary because it's been flooding a lot,” said Matthew’s 10-year-old sister, Anna Marie Borgatti.
"We just didn't want to have to worry about electricity and the chance of a tornado,” said the children’s mother Katherine Borgatti.
But not everyone left. Katherine's parents decided to wait out the storm.
"They’re doing ok. They have a generator there and they're fine,” Katherine said.
Those who did escape came to visit the Children's Museum. More than 200 people from Louisiana stopped by Thursday. The museum CEO hopes playing games here will wash away the children's troubles back home.
"Rushing out of the house in the middle of the night with heavy rains, winds, and dangerous streets and close calls and they can get that all out of their minds then the museum has done their part,” said The Children’s Museum of Memphis CEO Richard Hackett.
Museum staff also decided to go the extra mile for the evacuees by having a free cookout Thursday and Friday. People enjoyed free hot dogs, chips, and drinks.
So far, the Borgatti family has survived Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and now Isaac. If there is another hurricane they know where to go to be safe and escape reality.
"The Memphis Zoo, this is the second trip to the museum this week, Redbirds ball game, and to the Rendezvous. So we've had fun,” said Katherine.
The Borgatti family plans to return home on Saturday. There will be another cookout at The Children's Museum for the evacuees Friday starting at 4pm.