DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Where will Irma go? And what level of devastation will accompany her arrival? Even as forecasters keep a close eye on Irma’s track, some in South Florida aren’t waiting for answers: they’re getting out of harm’s way, now.
“Very relieved, yes, we don’t know what’s coming yet,” said Isabel Maytan as she hugged her worried and waiting daughter-in-law, Karen Maytan, at DFW Airport Wednesday. “I went through Andrew, so… that was very bad, we were leveled.”
Karen Maytan is relieved that she managed to get her mother on another flight. Still, she worries.
“A lot,” she admits. “My Dad is still there, ya know, that’s hard. But, he’s stubborn. But, I’m glad my Mom is here, my mother-in-law is here.”
Harvey’s heartbreak had no time to heal when Irma began churning in the Atlantic.
“Our friends called us, like a couple of days later, and was like, what are you going to do for the hurricane? and we’re like, wait, WHHAATT?” explained Jennifer Berger, Miami Style Mom blogger and native North Texan. “And my husband, literally, the next day was on it, booked us flights yesterday morning, and we’re here.”
Theirs and just about every flight out of the sunshine state now crammed with passengers looking to escape the approaching storm.
“I’ve never seen it like this,” says Karen Maytan. But, Maytan did see Hurricane Andrew–and that is one reason she worries.
The category 5 storm slammed into Florida in August 1992. At this point, it is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. And today Florida’s governor Rick Scott warned that Irma is “bigger, faster and stronger” than Andrew. But, by the time the governor uttered those words, native North Texas Jennifer Berger was already on an airplane, heading home to North Texas, giving no consideration at all to riding out the storm.
“No, definitely not,” says Berger. “I have a four month old and an almost 3 year old, and we are not going to stay at home. It’s not safe.”
American Airlines has issued a travel alert for more than 30 airports. The travel alert allows customers whose travel plans may be impacted by Hurricane Irma to rebook without change fees.
Still, for many, the most pressing travel concern is how quickly they can get out of Irma’s way.