PASCO, Fla. (WFLA) — As Hurricane Irma changed course, so did evacuation plans for many Tampa Bay area residents.
One of those residents is Diane Dipietro. She’s been through hurricanes before. She planned to stay for this one, too, but she changed her mind at the last minute.
She packed up her family, including two children and took off. Destination: North. She said she’s not sure where the family is going.
“We thought we were going to hold out and we did what we could to secure the home, but at this point, we’re just thinking it’s pretty imminent and we’ve got to get our families and little ones out of harm’s way.”
“We’re afraid to be in the dark, with all that noise, and have them listening to sounds that we don’t want them remembering,” she said.
Many of the evacuees using I-75 said they put off leaving because they feared traffic and not having enough fuel.
Some, in fact, have run out of fuel along the way.
This afternoon, traffic on I-75 was heavy. But then it cleared.
Jennifer Chambers and her husband made a last minute decision to flee south Tampa.
“We been watching obsessively, which is probably not the best idea. but we just decided, in looking at different things, and we talked to some friends of ours down in Punta Gorda, and he said, “get out.”
HURRICANE IRMA COVERAGE –
- The latest on Hurricane Irma from Storm Team 8
- 2017 Hurricane Guide
- Emergency shelters opening across Tampa Bay area ahead of Hurricane Irma
- Hurricane Irma: Check your evacuation level here
- Hurricane Irma causing flight cancellations, airport closures in Tampa Bay area, Florida
- CHECKLIST: Disaster supply list for hurricane
- Where to get sandbags in the Tampa Bay area
- How to get water even if the stores are out
- The one thing you must do for your pet as Irma approaches