Panhandle Residents Making Eastward Exodus

Late Tuesday afternoon, traffic on Interstate 10 came to a standstill for evacuees headed eastbound.

Steve Gillogly is stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, one of the areas under a mandatory evacuation.

"Eglin Air Force base, Tyndall Hulbert, which are all right there in the Panhandle, mandatory evacuation for all of those folks,” Gillogly explains.

Steve and his family are headed to Orlando. Other evacuees are headed as far east as Jacksonville. Most are coming from as far west as Escambia, Okaloosa and Bay Counties, even Alabama.

"Hectic, it's pretty hectic, I've been seeing people come in and out, in and out,” says rest stop worker Angela Smith.

Officials with the Florida Highway Patrol are providing direction for many evacuees who may not have a destination.

“We provide maps, any type of 1-800 number we can give them. Evacuation shelters maps, just calm them down and give them comfort,” says LT Jimmie Collins of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Diana McManus was visiting her sister in Fort Walton Beach. Now, the both of them are fleeing Ivan.

"It's a little strange having to run from a hurricane, but you can't prevent Mother Nature,” says Diana McManus.

"We were packed up and ready to go this morning. I lived through Opal and that was enough for me,” Barbara McDonald adds.

"If folks have family they are going to family or other places where they can find a safe place. So we've boarded up our house some friends are still staying there, they're going to keep an eye on it, so we fill pretty comfortable,” advises Gillogly.