Fleeing Florence, Coming Here

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. -- As Hurricane Florence gets closer and closer to landfall, millions are being evacuated from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Stephanie Benson started her 10-hour ride from North Carolina to northeast Pennsylvania Wednesday morning. Since moving south, she has lived through many hurricanes but did not want to chance anything with Hurricane Florence.

Benson has lived in North Carolina for more than a decade and now is headed away from the hurricane's destructive path.

"I tried to stock up on water because I was going to stay initially, but then as the hurricane got closer and it was going to come close to where Lumberton was, I then made the decision to come home," Benson said.

Lumberton is less than two hours from Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, places that have been urged to evacuate.

Benson was not under a mandatory evacuation, but this time she decided to head north, driving 10 hours from Lumberton, North Carolina to her parents' home in Kingston.

When Hurricane Matthew made landfall in 2014, Benson and her family stayed because it was only a Category 1 storm.

"They got absolutely stuck for five extra days because everything was flooded, because I have been through so many hurricanes before," she recalled.

She has no regrets about staying then but enough is enough.

"I am glad I stayed, making me a stronger person, but this time I know it is going to be a lot worse, so I am heading home."

Benson plans to keep an eye on her home from afar but expects the city of Lumberton to recover after the hurricane.

"I think we can. We are prepared considering what we went through two years ago. We made it then and I know my small town can pull it together now."

Stay up to date on the storm with the WNEP Interactive Hurricane Tracker.

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