Hurricane Irma evacuees take refuge in Tucson - Tucson News Now

Hurricane Irma evacuees take refuge in Tucson

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

As Hurricane Irma rages toward Florida, residents are emptying store shelves and evacuating their homes.

Rescue crews are headed to the Sunshine state to help, as millions are fleeing. Some folks are even taking refuge in Tucson. 

Tucson News Now spoke to evacuees as they landed at the Tucson International Airport on Thursday night.

Evacuee, Greg Elsner has lived in Florida for years and he's made it through many storms, but he fears Hurricane Irma may be the most destructive one yet.

"The size and the scope of it - all of it together looks much more intimidating than anything I'd want to stick around for," Elsner said.

Elsner calls West Palm Beach home. But now he's anxiously keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma from the safety of his parents' home in Marana, more than 2,000 miles away. He landed in Tucson on Thursday with his cat Maggie, after a long day of travel.

"22 hours total. Once you got into Atlanta it was almost gridlock," he said.

Before Elsner left, he rushed to board up his home as the powerful storm barreled toward South Florida.

"I tarped my bed. I put furniture, heavy furniture in front of the doors and windows if I could," Elsner said.

Evacuee, Batuhan Cakici, lives just south of Orlando. He said he had trouble even getting to the airport as there is a shortage of gasoline.

"It's real hard. I had to stop at five gas stations to find gas," Cakici said.

He, too, is bracing for the worst as Irma rages toward Florida.

"I'm nervous because my house there, if something happens, I don't have insurance at all," Cakici said.

As for Elsner, he told us he'll gladly wait out the storm from across the country in Arizona.

"I'm very glad that I'm here and watching it on television and not out of my back window," Elsner said.

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