All Eyes on Hurricane Irma

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SCRANTON -- Last month, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm. It was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005; it ended a record 12-year era.

Just two weeks later, we will likely see another major hurricane make landfall in the U.S. for the second time this 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season.

Hurricane Irma slammed into islands in the Caribbean on Wednesday.

"Gas is crazy. People are waiting in line for gas for half an hour, 45 minutes. Some of the gas stations are sky rocketing the prices up. It's crazy. A lot of the gas stations right near the school are running out of gas because so many students are trying to get it for their cars," Christina Phillips of Dunmore said.

Phillips has been back at school for her sophomore year at Florida Gulf Coast University in the Fort Myers area for less than a month. She says she almost had her dorm room exactly the way she wanted it. Now, she's taking it all back down.

"We had to pack just about everything from our rooms and put it in our bathrooms because they're really nervous about the windows," Phillips said.

Florida Gulf Coast canceled classes for Thursday and Friday and is evacuating campus. Phillips will drive up to stay with family in the Florida Panhandle.

"My aunt said get up to her it'll be safest, and then if we have to move farther north we'll do that. But she would just rather me be with her now," Phillips said. She plans to make the 9-hour drive, not counting traffic, as soon as possible.

Roberta Jadick from Scranton is keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma for more than one reason.

"Now I'm a wreck, I'm concerned about my family that is there. I'm concerned about friends, I'm concerned about my own property," Jadick said.

Jadick's daughter and son-in-law live in Sarasota, Florida. They bought their house last year, and she says this is the first time they will be going through something as big as this.

"I'm not sure that Sarasota is prepared for this. They ran out of sand for the sandbags today," said Jadick. There have been other hurricanes that have gone by in the Gulf and have brought lots of rain and wind, but this is their first experience with what may be a catastrophe," she continued.

Jadick's daughter went to college in Sarasota, and she, herself, fell in love with the area too.

"We went down on a parents weekend and found this lovely condo unit and decided that maybe we would like to retire here some day, it's a beautiful area," she said.

Jadick has been keeping in constant communication with her daughter. She says they will make the decision as soon as possible whether or not they are going to evacuate.

"They're boarding up their windows. They went last night and got their plywood. They have gas in their car. They have cash in their pocket," Jadick said.

She says because supplies are limited, neighbors won't be able to board up their houses.

"I have good insurance. I have hurricane insurance. If something happens, we'll get it replaced. The loss of life is the biggest concern," Jadick said.

While those who live in Florida have to make the decision to stay or go, so do people who are vacationing there.

"Very stressful. The last couple days we've been a little stressed out but I think we're handling it pretty well," John Madden from TravelWorld said.

Employees from the travel agency in Scranton have been helping their clients get flights home if they want or need it. Madden says this is why when traveling to Florida or the Caribbean during peak hurricane season, it's a good idea to have some help.

"When things like this happen, which thank God it doesn't happen too often with the storms, we recommend booking through a travel agency," he explained.

Hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30, but peak season in the North Atlantic is late-August through September.


  • 😵

    I get this is serious but the media and the weather people scare the crap out of people. They panic and can’t function properly. It’s aweful that they do that. They need to stop making it sound so bad cuz hurricanes are not new. They’ve been around forever. I know it is bad but they blow it WAY out of proportion. Get a clue media and stop scaring the crap out of people.

  • Independent_Voice

    Just watched the 9/6/2017 11:00 p.m. news weather forecast about Irma’s track. According to WNEP weathermen there should be no worry as IRMA should die out or go to the West through the Ohio valley. Going by past WNEP predictions I am stocking up on food , water and gasoline for next week. Not to be funny….

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