Scramble to avoid Irma leads many to Tri-State - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Scramble to avoid Irma leads many to Tri-State

There’s a mad scramble to get out of Florida before Hurricane Irma hits and many people are landing in the Tri-State. (Source: WXIX) There’s a mad scramble to get out of Florida before Hurricane Irma hits and many people are landing in the Tri-State. (Source: WXIX)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

There’s a mad scramble to get out of Florida before Hurricane Irma hits and many people are landing in the Tri-State.

FOX19 NOW caught up with dozens of Irma refugees at the rest area in Walton, Ky. and lost count of all the Florida plates passing through on the northbound side of Interstate 71/75.

Most say they're exhausted and worried about the monster named Irma about to wallop the Sunshine State.

Ann and Ron Peyton were sitting on a blanket, anxiously waiting at the Walton rest area for a moving van carrying precious cargo.

"He already got the best part,” said Ann Peyton, before hugging her husband.

They’d been waiting on their son and nephew to bring their valuables from Ft. Myers, as well as their fur babies.

"We got our babies,” she said, as the dogs barked happily in unison with her.

The dogs had been with the two men on a grueling journey.

"Twenty miles an hour, then it was like dead stop, and then we'd get back up to like 10-15 mph, it was like that for 27 hours," said Wayne Peyton, who was just happy to walk around and stretch his legs.

The Ohio transplants had been away vacationing since Aug. 27, unaware Irma was taking aim at their Florida home. Luckily the son and nephew were able to get out in time and meet them in Kentucky.

They’re headed to Somerset, Ohio from here.

"We moved to Florida 11 years ago and we love it there, but this is our first hurricane," said Ann Peyton.

Her son and nephew left their home Thursday at 10 a.m., took everything they could, and never stopped.

"Hopefully it's still there when we get back," said Wayne Peyton shrugging his shoulders.

Greg Klein, who is from Cold Spring, but lives in the Tampa area now, said this is also his first hurricane. He said he was able to get about two hours of sleep before he began driving.

"I took everything in that was outside, closed all the windows up and grabbed what I thought was important, stuck it in the car and here I am," he said.

Marietta and Bob Loyd left Ormond Beach,  the northern neighbor to Daytona Beach, Thursday morning, and are exhausted from driving.

"There was a lot of electricity in the air, from people just trying to get somewhere and people were real friendly! Be safe! Be safe," she said.

They're headed to their daughter's in Lansing, Michigan, for who knows how long.

"We sat through Matthew last year, we were there, and there were no problems, other than the electricity was out for a day and a half," said Bob Loyd.

But it could be weeks without power this time.

Some people told FOX19 NOW, at last word, they heard they might be able to return to Florida as early as Wednesday. But with power expected to be out for weeks in some parts of the state, there's no telling right now when anyone can go home.

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