Emergency shelters across the Big Bend closed their doors Tuesday. Most folks headed for home Tuesday morning. More than 1,000 people sought shelter in the Big Bend over the weekend, and that doesn't count all those who bunked with friends and family.
Roger and Kathryn Drohan spent the weekend with their grandchildren in Tallahassee, but this was no vacation. They fled their home in Titusville last Wednesday.
Roger says, “’Course we were all worried with the category hurricane that it was. We were expecting our houses to be leveled."
While the Drohan's showed up on the family doorstep, more than 1,100 other evacuees sought refuge in Red Cross shelters in the Big Bend. All of those shelters packed up and closed Tuesday.
Jim Messer, a Red Cross volunteer, says, "Most of them left this morning. By about 8 o'clock we had an exodus back home. A good number left last night after the storm went by."
As Red Cross workers pack up and wearily ready themselves for Ivan, evacuees like the Drohan's are headed home. They'll leave Tallahassee in the morning anxious to confirm reports that their home has been spared.
This was the first time that Leon County had a "pet friendly" shelter available. More than a dozen pet owners took advantage of it. The Disaster Animal Response Team says it hopes pet shelters will be a regular feature during hurricane season.