Hurricane Irma evacuees in Louisiana waiting for storm to pass

Florida residents evacuate to Slidell as Irma makes landfall

SLIDELL- Whenever Florida resident Ron Sklaver gets a chance, he is looking at Hurricane Irma from his iPad. 

"It's right smack where the eye is aiming for according to the last forecast from the National Hurricane Center," Sklaver said. 
 
Sklaver is from Palm Harbor, Florida. It was the constant change in Hurricane Irma's path that made his ultimate decision to pack up and leave. 
 
"When you live in Florida, you're used to hurricanes, you're expecting hurricanes, you know what to do for hurricanes. When you see a hurricane, that is wider than the entire state. That is one day hitting the Atlantic Coast, then the next, the Gulf Coast, you start to wonder," Sklaver said. 
 
Sklaver made the nearly 16-hour treck to Louisiana with his wife, three daughters, two of their roommates and his mother-in-law. 
 
"At the end we were so tired, that every hour, we were stopping, driving in shifts of course. Driving every single hour. Just to get out. Get some fresh air. Re-energize a little bit," Sklaver said. 
 
Irma left a devastating and deadly path of destruction. At least 22 people have been killed across the Caribbean. Now the entire state of Florida is bracing for the powerful winds, heavy rains and catastrophic storm surge. 
 
"I'm still praying that we don't lose lives, but we have the risk now and we have the risk afterwards," Florida Governor Rick Scott said. 
 
Many Floridians arriving at hotels huddled around the television watching Irma's every move. 
 
Sklaver says the last few days have been overwhelming, but one of the things he is grateful for are the caring people he has met along his escape route. 
 
"Nobody asked me what my politics were, what my religion was. What any of my beliefs were. Everybody, at 4 a.m., at 7/11 in some county I can't pronounce in Mississippi was like, 'Oh stay safe. Oh, be careful. Oh, make sure you've got caffeine. If that's not bringing out the best in people, I can't imagine what is," Sklaver said.
 
 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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