Evacuees come to Tallahassee to escape Florence

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By: Alex Crescenti | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 14, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- While Hurricane Florence continues to bear down on the east coast, many have been forced to evacuate, and some are coming to Tallahassee. The city is far from the impacted regions, but there were still some people that came all this way to escape the storm.

For Veronica Debrova and Fransico Flores, they escaped Hurricane Florence after vacationing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. They traveled through Atlanta and then down to Tallahassee, but it wasn't a walk in the park to get there.

"We decided to leave at five in the morning to avoid the traffic, and actually at that hour still the traffic was pretty tough," said Debrova.

In Tallahassee, it seemed business as usual Thursday afternoon, with still a considerable amount of hotel rooms available.

"Travelers have a lot of options as far as inland from the Carolinas to get away from the storm itself, but we're ready in case that does happen," said Gary Stogner, the Senior Marketing Director for Leon County.

One place not unfamiliar with seeing people coming in to escape a storm is the Challenger Learning Center, which has seen hundreds of people come in during past seasons.

"We had a couple that came to our box office just looking for something to do to pass the time and who did mention that they were coming from out of town because of the hurricane," said Samantha Reaves, the Communications and Development Manager.

For Veronica, she says this experience has been a little scary considering she has never been in a situation like Hurricane Florence before.

"I didn't know what to expect and I saw people panicking buying all the water. We wanted to go to the shop and buy water but it was all sold out," she added.

Veronica and Francisco won't be able to finish out their vacation in South Carolina and they will have to travel to Fort Lauderdale to get back home.

Leon County officials use interstate traffic maps and hotel rooms occupancy as ways to track how many people are coming in from the hurricanes.

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