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Dorian Evacuations See Far Less Traffic Than Hurricane Irma

September 3rd, 2019 by Jake Stofan

Florida remains under a state of emergency as Hurricane Dorian begins to make its way North.

Evacuation orders are still in effect for much of Florida’s east coast, yet traffic across the state has remained relatively clear.

Traffic was miles long and flowing at a snails pace on I-10 west bound in 2017 as six million Floridians tried to escape Hurricane Irma’s path.

ON Tuesday, as Dorian inched up the state’s east coast, traffic was clear.

The Florida Highway Patrol said it’s the same around the state.

“People are just staying home, staying put and through the last monitoring, extremely light traffic patterns,” said FHP Director Col. Gene Spaulding.

During Hurricane Irma the rest stop we visited was essentially converted to a makeshift RV park full of evacuees.

However, after spending an hour there Tuesday, we were only able to find a handful of evacuees escaping Dorian even though 17 Florida counties had issued evacuation orders, 12 of them mandatory.

St Augustine resident Albert Stefanoiu was one of the million Floridians living in an evacuation zone.

He decided not to take any chances.

“It’s best to get out. You can rebuild your home, but you can’t rebuild your life,” said Stefanoiu.

Governor Ron DeSantis said part of the reason Dorian evacuations are running smoother compared to Irma is because the state gave local communities more say in where and when to issue evacuation orders.

“I think it’s worked better,” said DeSantis. “I think there was frustration in the past when people were kind of crisscrossing the state having to evacuate. Actually, some people evacuating into the storm path.”

Unless there’s a major shift in Dorian’s projected path it is unlikely escape routes will face the congestion seen during Irma, which is good news for those still considering evacuating.

While the threat of Dorian appears to be lessening, the Governor continues to urge Floridians to heed evacuation orders.

For an updated list visit Floridadisaster.org/info.

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