Floridians heading to Nashville to escape Hurricane Irma


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)- Baggage claim at the Nashville airport was packed Wednesday with people who had flown in from Fort Lauderdale.

Toni Schauman is originally from McMinnville and bought a one-way ticket back home ahead of Irma.

“It’s a one-way ticket because I don’t know what there’s going to be to go back to,” Schauman told News 2. “There are a lot of people who don’t have an option. They don’t have an option for evacuation, they don’t have a plan, they don’t have people who can get them out.”

She said she was worried for the elderly woman who lived in the apartment below hers. Schauman couldn’t hold back the tears.

“The 92-year-old woman just refuses to leave, and what can you do? You can’t make someone at that age realize the severity of what’s going on,” she told News 2.PHOTOS: Hurricane Irma

Jorge Santiago flew into Nashville from Fort Lauderdale for business. He plans on flying home Thursday to get his family and evacuate.

“That’s causing me a little bit of stress too because I don’t know what I’m going to run into tomorrow night or Friday morning when I try to leave Florida,” he said. “It’s probably going to be gridlock.”MORE:Complete coverage of Hurricane Irma

Meanwhile, Isabella Sciarrino had spent a month in Nashville and was flying home to Orlando.

“I’m really just hoping for the best. I have to get home so hoping nothing too bad will happen,” she said.

She says she couldn’t change her flight but her family is home preparing.

“They filled up all our cars with gas, they’ve been buying water, you have to fill up the bathtubs with water just in case,” Sciarrino told News 2. “Everybody’s getting generators. Just preparing.”

So far, no flights have been cancelled to or from Florida but that could change.

JetBlue, Delta and Southwest airlines have all waived change-fees for people who are trying to leave the areas Irma is set to hit.

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