Evacuations ahead of Hurricane Irma

Posted at 10:50 PM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 22:50:55-04

LEE COUNTY, FLA -- The threat of Hurricane Irma has some people hitting the roads in southwest Florida.

"I just don't feel like messing with it," said Casey McCarthy, as she fueled up her Dodge Caravan. "We are going to take a little vacation north somewhere," she added.

McCarthy knew she would make a trip to a 7-Eleven in Cape Coral in order to race out of Florida before Hurricane Irma's potential arrival.

"We made the decision to evacuate this morning when it went up to a 5," said McCarthy. "Normally if a hurricane is a category 4, we try to leave," she added.

Some people stopped at gas stations, but others turned to airports.

"A category 5 is pretty scary," said Barbara Sidler, who flew out of Southwest Florida International Airport to New York. "Seeing and hearing everything out in Houston, nobody wants to take that chance," she added.

Sidler says she is not the only one leaving her Collier home. Her neighbors have also left Florida.

People at the airport checked their phones for the latest advisories. They also watched news conferences about the importance to have an evacuation plan.

"At the point we have a defined track and turn, the time to evacuate will have almost gone," said Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk.

Sheriff Rambosk also said in his news conference Tuesday afternoon to keep in mind I-75 might be busier than usual with drivers from the other coast of Florida.