Evacuees Ready to Leave Athens and Head Back to Coast

Sep 12, 2017

After one of the largest storm evacuations in history, Floridians are heading back home. Florida Governor Rick Scott urged more than 6.5 million residents, or one out of four of his constituents, to flee Hurricane Irma. He is now urging those residents not to rush back home. There are concerns across the southeast of jammed roads, uncertain supplies of gasoline, empty grocery store shelves, standing water, and widespread power outages that could last for weeks. The evacuation also placed a financial strain on many evacuees.

Skip Irwin is an evacuee who found shelter in Athens, and he’s among those ready to head back south.

Damaged houses are shown in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in the Florida Keys.
Credit Matt McClain/The Washington Post via AP, Pool

“It’s difficult because you know you’re sitting in your room, you don’t know what to do, you’re hurrying, you’re trying to hurry yourself back to Florida, but you don’t know what you’re going to find when you get back,” Irwin said. “We were really blessed by finding out that everything’s good. We just want to see if we can get back.

In Georgia Governor Nathan Deal order nearly 540,000 Georgians to head inland from the coast due to Irma. So far, at least three deaths are being blamed on Irma, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports two people were crushed by falling trees in Atlanta and a south Georgia man was swept off his roof by high winds. In Athens, a police officer was not injured after a tree fell on the officer’s patrol car.