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Evacuees Face Traffic Delays and Fuel Shortages Returning Home After Irma

September 12th, 2017 by Jake Stofan

As the remains of hurricane Irma fizzle out millions of Florida’s are taking the roads to return home after evacuating.

Tens of thousands are still in shelters around the state as of this morning.

Traffic and the uncertainty of what scene awaits back at home is on evacuees mind.

Just four days ago traffic headed west on I-10 was at a standstill.

Now, a steady flow of evacuees returning home.


“We had discussed wether or not we were going to leave next time we had a hurricane warning and decided that we still are, simply because this was just lucky,” said SpringHill Evacuee Robert Harris.

We spoke with Alfred Rivera this rest stop. He’s traveling back to Miami. When he left last week he didn’t know what he would find when he returned.


“Gods hand was over our home and in the neighborhood. It did flood in the outer areas, but not in the neighborhood itself where we were at,” said Rivera.

Alfred says he’s coming back to good news.


“Worried about if I was still going to have a roof or a house,” said Rivera.

Traffic and fuel supplies are still big concerns for travelers.


“All these responder vehicles, the roads are filled with those guys and they have to get down here to help out you know, but they’re taking up all the room,” said Gary Gresko, an evacuee returning to Vero Beach.

Governor Rick Scott waived taxes on fuel entering the state to help replenish supplies.


“We’ve got to keep fuel on that road and all the roads so that people can get home. People want to come home,” said Governor Scott.

The FHP has dedicated 20 troopers to escort fuel from major ports in the state.

Many of the evacuees returning now say they know their homes made it through, but many more are still in shelters left with a great uncertainty of what they’ll find when they finally get the okay to return home.

As of Tuesday morning 86,000 Floridians were still in 370 shelters throughout the state.

Many shelters have already begun closing.

Many more will follow, sending more and more evacuees back to their homes to begin rebuilding their lives.

To locate shelters in your area go to Floridadisaster.org/shelters.

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