Florida couple use Dorian as excuse to take vacation

Evacuations I-75

TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - Bill and Juliana Ihnken say they were at home during last year’s tropical storm, but Hurricane Dorian gave them a great reason to go ahead and take a vacation.

Floridians Bill Ihnken and his wife Juliana aren’t strangers to tropical storms and hurricanes. The couple has been on the road all day, with anticipation of a much-needed break.

“So far, we have been about six hours and we got another four hours to go to get to our cabinets up in the mountains,” Bill said.

The two are on their way to a retreat in North Georgia to flee from the category four cyclone.

“We are trying to escape the hurricane this time. We stayed for the last few and we said if it was a four or higher we would hit the road and that’s what we are doing,” Juliana said.

Juliana Ihnken West Palm Beach Florida Resident
Juliana Ihnken West Palm Beach Florida Resident (Source: WALB)

Juliana said previous hurricanes prepared them for this.

“It was scary, we thought it would die down and it didn’t. But we prepared very well and that’s a good thing about the hurricane is that they prepare you,” Juliana explained.

With the recent removal of barricades on I-75, evacuees have a smoother commute from one state to the next.

Bill Ihnken West Palm Beach Florida Resident
Bill Ihnken West Palm Beach Florida Resident (Source: WALB)

“No issues at all, it was clear traveling the whole way. We did see a couple of power trucks going south, anticipating some bad weather obviously. But it was an easy trip so far,” Bill told us.

The Ihnkens say their children and grandchildren are still in West Palm Beach, but they’ve prepared for the storm by putting an emergency plan together.

“Putting up the shutters, and filling up with gas preparing food and things like that,” Juliana said.

With other families coming to or passing through South Georgia, the city of Tifton is nearly full to capacity.

Copyright 2019 WALB. All rights reserved.