Posted On 08 Sep 2017
The trip should take about five hours from Homestead, on the south coast of Florida, to Orlando, but it took more than 11 hours for Guayaquil native Tania Pacheco and her family to reach their destination. The roads were in chaos, congested by heavy traffic, with thousands of people fleeing after the arrival of Hurricane Irma.
The race to flee Hurricane Irma became a terrible nightmare for many of the more than half a million people who were yesterday ordered to leave South Florida.
With the storm heading quickly to Florida’s extreme this weekend, the usually brief trips became day-long trips on saturated roads, amid a constant search for gas and lodging. Flights departing from Florida were also scarce.
Irma is in Cuba today, and its arrival in Florida is expected for tomorrow. Governor Rick Scott warned of the size and strength of the category five hurricane. “It is wider than our entire state and could cause significant effects that could endanger lives from coast to coast. Regardless of the coast where you live, you must be prepared to evacuate,” he said.
The republican governor acknowledged that road congestion and gas shortages were “frustrating,” and stated that federal and other states were helping to bring more gas to the state. (I)