Irma cuts vacations short as travelers return home from Florida
Tracy Thompson and his wife were enjoying some time off in Florida, but Irma had other plans for the Penfield couple.
"My wife was like, 'Honey we're on vacation. Can we stay?' And I was like, 'No.' We visited Daytona Beach and decided to come back home to Rochester. We’d rather be safe than sorry," said Tracy Thompson.
That's what Jackie Shuman and her husband thought too. They were at Disney with their 3-year-old son. The two Rochester police officers know all too well what can happen in an emergency. That's why Jackie said, despite the sunny Florida skies Friday morning, it was time to leave.
“I learned on Tuesday this was serious and changed my flight then. I didn't wait. Tuesday, I said ‘Let's not take any risks, let's not get stranded here,’” said Jackie Shuman.
Laurie Smith is not taking any risks either. A Kodak retiree, Laurie moved down to Cape Coral three years ago. She says they boarded up the house, and booked the last two seats on their flight to Rochester. They're staying with her husband's family.
“I'm in a surge zone right now. We're pretty close to the water and a good chance of getting flooded. It's been real hectic. The plywood's gone for people who don't have shutters. Water is flying off the shelves. People really are scrambling to try and get ready and stay safe,” said Laurie Smith.
Most people are doing what they can to get out. But Sherrie Moffitt, who grew up in Ontario County, is actually flying to Florida to ride out the storm with her husband and daughter.
When her husband retired from the Navy, they moved to Orlando. Sherrie was just in town visiting family, but decided she needed to head south.
“I want to be down there with them and because they're not going to be able to evacuate, I figure we can just ride it out together, either at our house or we've got a high school we can go to as a safety shelter. We're well inland away from the water. What I'm worried about now is the winds,” said Sherrie Moffitt.
Sherrie says this is not her first hurricane in Florida, and she expects they will be safe. But that doesn't mean her mother back in Manchester doesn't worry.
“She needs to be home with her husband and her daughter and we understand that. But [until] we know she's home and everybody's OK...." said Shirley Jansen, Sherrie’s mother.
Sherrie promises there will be many phone calls and text messages to reassure everyone they're OK.