Iowa native evacuates Florida - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa native evacuates Florida

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As Hurricane Irma takes aim at the East Coast, some Iowans are trying to escape parts of southern Florida. An eastern Iowa police chief's son is on his way out of Miami tonight as the hurricane picks up strength.

Though Irma has not hit Florida just yet, thousands of people are leaving the coast, evacuating the area, including one eastern Iowa man. Don Olson of Cedar Falls was stuck in traffic for hours this morning while leaving Miami. Along the way trying to get gas was very difficult.

"We tried to get gas, but half of the gas stations were out of fuel," said Don. "Gas lines at the ones that did have fuel were half a mile long."

Don is a student in Miami, he says people are scrambling while Irma heads their way.

"It's complete chaos in Miami," described Don, "It was a sunny and beautiful yesterday, it's the calm before the storm as they say."

Don says necessities like water are nearly impossible to get.

"We went to get water...we went to four stores, all of them were out," said Don.

Don's father, Cedar Falls Police Chief Jeff Olson, is wishing he could help his son.

"It just starts setting in when you start hearing him tell you these things...that he can't get this, he can't get that, traffic's terrible, he can't get anywhere," said Chief Olson.

Chief Olson is hoping everyone will leave the area, saying the damage that Irma has already caused is terrifying,

"When they talk about 180 mph winds and they talk about how close it's gonna be to Miami, I just wish people would leave," said Chief Olson.

Don left early this morning, traveling in dense traffic to Atlanta. He's hoping he can return to Miami soon and is hopeful Irma doesn't rip it apart.

"It's terrible, I live there, I want to be able to go back to see all my friends," said Don. "I go to school there, I've been there for about three years now, it's a horrible feeling."

Don is traveling with a few of his friends from Miami to Atlanta to wait out the storm. He says he may come back to Iowa if Irma does major damage to where he lives.

Don says on his way to Atlanta he saw semi trucks full of water and electrical trucks heading toward Miami.

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