HAMILTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Evacuees fleeing coastal Florida and others parts of the South faced another day of bumper-to-bumper traffic Saturday.
CBS2’s Erin Logan spoke with some Floridians making their way north to New York.
Outside the Woodrow Wilson rest stop on 95 North in Hamilton, New Jersey, everyone had a different story to share, but many had the same story line.
“Even though this was a horrendous trip, it was the best decision,” Lisa Mendelsohn said
Logan caught up with the Mendelsohns from Boca Raton and others who knew they had to leave their homes and get far away from Hurricane Irma.
Lisa said she stayed put for Hurricane Wilma in 2005 – the state’s last major hurricane.
“It took the roof off our house, blew our front doors open,” she said. “I swore at that time I would never stay for another hurricane in Florida.”
So the ride that ended up taking 27 hours was well worth it. Her 95-year-old father agreed.
“I can’t feel any better,” Harry Bleiberg said. “They’re my immediate family – all I have.”
Another man and his wife had little kids and they didn’t want to take any chances staying home in Miami. So they packed their car and headed to the Bronx.
Eight-year-old Kayla said she was bugging her dad non-stop.
“I keep asking him if we’re there yet,” she said.
Even adults were asking each other the same question. Lesly Martelly said he noticed one too many cars with Florida license plates having trouble throughout the long drive.
“People off the roads, spinning. Crazy stuff,” he said.
Jeanine Dahlberg lives in Orlando and tells WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron she was planning to just ride out the storm. She’s been through it before and felt perfectly safe, but her 17-year-0ld daughter is a freshman at the University of New Hampshire and she was worried.
So Jeanine decided to just come up and spend the week with her.
“I had enough supplies to last a week,” she said.
Allan is from Miami and went through Hurricane Andrew several years ago, but he has three kids now.
“That’s what changed,” he told WCBS 880. “I grew up in Miami as well, so I’m used to it and if I didn’t have my kids I probably would have stayed.”
The families said their stress and anxiety were far from over. They were already thinking ahead to the trip back south. Will they get gas? How long will it take? And of course, will there be damage to my home?
More than six million people across Florida were ordered to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma.