Sunshine staters head to Georgia-- Again - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sunshine staters head to Georgia-- Again

September 2, 2004

Valdosta-- Half million Floridians have been ordered to evacuate as Hurricane Frances approaches the east coast. Thousands of those evacuees are seeking shelter in south Georgia.

Motorists on I-75 can barely move, as hundreds of thousands of Floridians head north to escape the wrath of Hurricane Frances. "Traffic was a frenzy," said Trena Oelschlager.

Friends Trina Oelschlager and Jeany Gonzalez were stuck in the traffic jam for a while, now they're waiting to check into their hotel room and get some much needed rest. "We left at 3:00 this morning and drove and that's why I look so tired," said Oelschlager.

Chester Benedict also left early, hoping to avoid the mad rush of evacuees. "This storm is obviously very big and the whole family is really scared and shaken up," said Benedict.

They're afraid that the hurricane could cause more damage than their home can stand. "As always, you expect the worst and hope for the best," said Benedict.

Hundreds of evacuees are hoping to see the storm through here in Lowndes County. Others are traveling farther to escape what storm damage we could get. "People are checking out to go north and then we get a new batch in and they're checking in to get some rest and then keep going further north," said Silka Miller, Holiday Inn Manager.

But these friends are praying they'll be safe here, and the homes they left behind in Florida will be spared from the storm. Valdosta's American Red Cross has several churches on standby to open up as shelters.


posted at 3:20PM by dave.miller@walb.com