Atlanta Motor Speedway providing a place for Floridians fleeing Ian

HENRY COUNTY. Ga. — Erica Martin believes the show must go on, but there’s no harm in being cautious.

“A lot of people are holding off setting up tents until tomorrow because of the wind,” Martin told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen.

Martin and her crew will paint faces during this year’s Georgia State Fair, which opens this Friday on the grounds of the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Henry County.

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There will be tens of thousands of visitors, and possibly a few hundred hurricane evacuees from Florida too.

“Nothing specific that says we’re expecting all these people to come. But we’ve been through this before, so we have an understanding of what we can expect in this situation,” Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Dustin Bixby said.


For years the speedway has opened its 850 acres to those outrunning a hurricane.

It is expected that some trying to get out of Ian’s way will end up there.

If they’re looking for something to keep their minds off what’s going on back home, Martin says to go to the fair, so long as what’s left of Ian doesn’t wash it out.

“It’s not the rain so much as the wind. Being we’re all in tents — many of us — we don’t want our tent to fly away,” Martin said.

Speedway officials say they can easily handle both the tens of thousands expected to attend the fair, and thousands of hurricane evacuees too, should they arrive.

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