Fleeing Florence, some Carolinians are landing in S.A.
At 2 a.m. Thursday, Michelle Baez and her daughter Anisya finished packing their family photos into their car. They moved belongings inside their Myrtle Beach, South Carolina home to higher levels. Then they left to catch a morning flight to San Antonio.
They drove to Charlotte, North Carolina, traveling west on the eastbound lanes that authorities reversed to speed traffic inland ahead of Hurricane Florence.
“There were police at every intersection,” Baez said, and all roads east were blocked. On the contraflow lanes, “the signs were all backwards, and I’m telling her (Anisya), normally if the signs are backwards, you’re going the wrong way.”
People started leaving South Carolina coast Tuesday and a mandatory evacuation has been issued for everyone there, Michelle Baez said after arriving at San Antonio International Airport. The two will stay with her parents here until they’re allowed to return.
In Myrtle Beach, “everything is closing,” said Anisya, who packed clothes and her “Twilight” books in the floral suitcase she was taking to her grandparents’ home.
Baez said she hasn’t evacuated from Myrtle Beach in previous storms, but the projected direct hit on the coast and the mandatory evacuation order drove her to leave this time. Fear set in when a Red Cross official warned her to take pictures of birth certificates and other important documents, she said, driving home how serious the storm could be. Baez brought the documents with her on the flight but left the family photos in the car in Charlotte, where she hopes they’ll stay dry.
Jazzy Jefferson left her dorm room in Greensboro, North Carolina around 2:30 a.m. Thursday to catch a flight to Atlanta, she said.
The freshman at North Carolina A&T State University then flew from Atlanta to San Antonio, where her father was waiting to pick her up and drive her home to Dallas.
“We couldn’t find a flight to Dallas for under $1,200,” she said. Classes at the university were cancelled as of noon Wednesday, and her parents were worried about her staying in Greensboro. The city is about 200 miles from the coast, but is still expected to see flooding from the storm.
Jefferson said the school expected to reopen Monday, but based on the forecast, “I don’t really see how that’s going to happen.”
She and Baez both said they don’t have return flights booked yet, waiting instead to see how the storm plays out.
LTeitz@express-news.net | @LizTeitz