Hurricane Irma evacuees rush for final flights out of Florida

Floridians land in North Texas ahead of Irma

DALLAS – Airports in the Dallas area were busy on Friday, as travelers arrived on some of the last planes leaving Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma.

American Airlines issued a statement announcing more than 2,500 flights would be cancelled between Friday and Monday, all because of the threatening storm.

At DFW International Airport, a steady flow of Floridians were passing through the terminals.

”It’s been nerve-wrecking,” said Alanna Hochman as she and her family waited for baggage.

The Hochman family is among those evacuating from Fort Lauderdale. They had to take three flights just to get to Dallas.

“You could argue that there was price gouging involved,” said Ian Hochman. “It cost us a lot of money to get out here.”

Airports across Florida have been packed. Travelers rushing to get out of the state are finding long lines and short tempers. It is a big challenge, some say, for those evacuating with children.

The Hochmans are traveling with her two daughters.

“It’s been tough, but they’ve been rock stars," Alanna explained. "They’ve been really strong about it. And we’ve been trying to talk to them about what the experience is like, and what the storm is like and what to expect. And we’re lucky enough to be able to go to a different place to evacuate, and to be safe.”

It's the impact from Hurricane Harvey that's motivating many to get out before Irma hits.

Jessica Paul left West Palm Beach and plans to stay with friends in Dallas. She says memories of surviving Hurricane Andrew remain on her mind.

”We were under a mandatory evacuation. Our house was totaled. I just remember being all huddled together at my grandma’s house," Paul remembered.

Then there is the waiting game for folks like Andres Osuna. He already had a tough day evacuating Gainsville. His parents are experiencing some hiccups trying to join him in Dallas from Miami.

”The crew wasn’t there,” Osuna said. “Like two people from the crew wasn’t there. So they had to wait. It was a two-hour delay out of there.”

Travelers are urging all of those who remain in the storm’s path to be safe and prepare.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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