Evacuees flood Florida as Florence batters coast

- As Hurricane Florence nears the east coast, many coming from Charlotte to Tampa are already experiencing the impact the storm is having on air travel.

Some faced major delays, others had to switch their flights at the last minute.

Many of the travelers we spoke with Thursday night say they couldn’t more relieved to make it to Tampa. Some are returning from vacation, others are traveling to Tampa to be with family who have already evacuated, and some are escaping the storm and coming here to vacation, hoping when they return their home their house will still be standing.

Some of the last flights out of areas like Charlotte, arrived at TIA Thursday night, carrying passengers, like Linda Thorne, who were relieved to make it.

“It’s a good feeling," Thorne said. "But my son is coming in from Pittsburgh tomorrow so I hope he makes it too.”

Linda, who lives in Charlotte, came to Tampa this weekend to attend the Bucs game Sunday. She was originally set to fly in Friday, but changed her plans to fly in Thursday because of the storm.

“Since we planned to be out of town, we didn’t really prepare," Thorne said. "All of our neighbors were going and buying generators and water. We did move our porch furniture, but we did little to prepare since we are going to be gone till Monday.”

Jose Bernal’s family also coming from North Carolina, escaped the storm with friends in Tampa, where he’s set to meet up with his wife and two young kids. 

“Homes can be rebuilt," Bernal said. "But family can so I’m just excited that they are out of there.”

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Evacuees flood Florida as Florence batters coast
  • Schools and roads: Is there room for two tax hikes on the ballot?
  • Five months later, Tampa police name suspect in artist's death
  • Cortez service industry bands together to keep struggling workers afloat
  • Polk volunteers gear up for Florence relief mission
  • Three shoplifters stole from Dillard's in Wesley Chapel, deputies say
  • Uber driver suing Bucs' QB Winston over alleged groping incident
  • Temple Terrace club members want Confederate group to hold gatherings elsewhere
  • Sacred Heart's pipe organ fills church, hearts with music
  • Former special needs teacher accused of rape