Officials say 'stay' but many evacuees can't wait - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Officials say 'stay' but many evacuees can't wait

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September 6, 2004

Valdosta-- Traffic on I-75 is moving, but growing more crowded every minute as hurricane evacuees start their journey back to Florida.

"We're heading back home or whale hope is still home," said Tim Pickerell.

After three nights in Valdosta, Pickerell is anxious to get back to Daytona Beach. "Just want to go back and see if everything's OK and get things back to normal," said Pickerell.

But with no electricity, things probably won't be back to normal for a few more days. "It's very hot, there's no air conditioner, and we probably just had our last hot shower a few minutes ago," said Pickerell.

But not everyone is heading home just yet. "We re going to hopefully go back early tomorrow morning," said Jessica Schollmeyer.

The Sleep Inn and several other hotels near the Interstate are full again tonight. "We know our house is okay, there s no structural damage, so we want to wait it out and not get stuck on the highways," said Schollmeyer.

For many of these families, its the second time they ve evacuated in less than a month. And with Hurricane Ivan approaching, people are anxious.

posted at 6:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com