Florida evacuee helps Leesburg friend protect his home from Irma

Storey and Elliot move cart of plywood to check out (Source: WALB)
Storey and Elliot move cart of plywood to check out (Source: WALB)
John Elliott, Florida Evacuee (Source: WALB)
John Elliott, Florida Evacuee (Source: WALB)
Walter Gill, Assistant Store Manager, Home Depot (Source: WALB)
Walter Gill, Assistant Store Manager, Home Depot (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As Hurricane Irma lands in Florida, one Floridian is thankful to be in Georgia.

Florida resident John Elliott evacuated from Fort Lauderdale Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma.

On Sunday, he and Terry Storey, Leesburg resident, visited Home Depot in Albany preparing to board up windows on Storey's home.

"I had to find a place to take dog, cat, fiancee, son, etc.," laughed Elliott.

With Florida's mandatory evacuation he knew he had to get his family to safety.

He knew Storey lived in Leesburg so he asked if he could stay with him and his family.

"I got to admit I'm a little scared, but at this point knowing it's not going to hit Fort Lauderdale like it was. So that's a little bit of a relief," said Elliott.

Elliot drove his family 14 hours to get to Leesburg. Now they are once again in harm's way.

"I've been through several of them, this one just looks like it's really going to be nasty," said Elliott.

Walter Gill, Albany Home Depot Assistant Manager, said residents have been lined up since  8 this morning. He says by noon 100 customers had already bought flashlights, plywood, and sandbags. Typically they see about 30 people by then.

"I say it will be busy the rest of the day until we close," said Gill.

Gill said the store is closing at 8 on Sunday and will be closed tomorrow...adding to many Southwest Georgia businesses that have announced they will be closed on Monday.

But for Elliot, he is optimistic about returning to Florida.

"I just hope my house isn't flooded when I get back," said Elliott.

Elliott said he hopes he and his family can return to Fort Lauderdale by the end of next week.

Home Depot is now out of flashlights, C and D batteries, generators, gas cans, and lanterns.

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