LAKELAND (FOX 13) - The population of Polk County is swelling. Evacuees, trying to escape the wrath of Irma, are coming to Polk to ride out the storm.
Joey Hughes brought his two kids, one of them a five week old, from Key West to Lakeland.
"This storm is so powerful and so huge," Hughes said.
He says the last thing he wanted was to be in his home with his infant daughter with no electricity.
Bruce and Shelly Neil who live in Key Largo, scooped up their 2 puppies, Zack and Loopy, and headed north as well.
"The news is telling us it's gonna destroy the place. The Neils felt like they were especially vulnerable because they live in a mobile home.
They were lucky to get a room. Hotels are booked solid in Polk County, most from Friday to Monday when we will most likely feel the effects of Irma.
Carols Adorno, who runs the Hilton Garden Inn at Lakeland Linder Airport, has been telling callers to check hotels to the east.
"So far, the closest ones we have found has been in Orlando and North of Orlando." He told FOX 13.
Eighty percent of the rooms statewide have already been taken. To find out which ones are still available, check out www.expedia.com/florida.