Floridians deal with another evacuation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Floridians deal with another evacuation

Bill and Krista Vollman Bill and Krista Vollman
Florida traffic in Cook County, Georgia, Friday Florida traffic in Cook County, Georgia, Friday
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September 3, 2004

Cook County-- Bill and Krista Vollman's temporary home sweet home is their van. "The van, that was our mobile home, hotel room last night,"said Krista.

Imagine sleeping here, in the back of a van. "We took a mattress with us, put it in the back of the van and we figured where ever we could make it out of Florida, that's were we would camp for the night," said Krista.

With no air conditioner, in a Wal-Mart parking lot. "It was a little crowded," said Bill.

But after hours of sitting through this traffic jam, even sleeping on the hard van floor brings relief. "It was about a 12 hour drive which would usually have taken a little under 6 hours," said Bill.

The Vollmans aren't the only ones making their homes in their vehicle. With all of our hotels and most campgrounds full, many evacuees spent the night on the side of the road.

"We actually had to go out and wake people up along the exit ramps this morning, tell them to go on further north and keep moving because just pulling off like that can really be dangerous," said Georgia State Trooper Kinsey.

And just down I-75 in Lake Park, the Georgia welcome center is swamped with Floridians taking a break from the long and slow journey north. "We're going to sleep here for a few hours, because we were dozing on the highway like I'm sure a lot of people are," said Joyce Guthrie.

But after a short nap, its back to the Interstate, as these evacuees continue their trip to safety.

Workers at the Georgia Welcome Center in Lake Park estimate that more than 600,000 evacuees have stopped at the center since Wednesday.

posted at 5:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com