Thousands flee Florida Panhandle to escape Hurricane Michael

Thousands flee Florida Panhandle to escape Hurricane Michael (ABC7)

The effects of Hurricane Michael are being felt up and down the eastern part of the country. Travelers on I-95 in Virginia that ABC7 News spoke with were affected in different ways.

At the Dale City rest area, we found a couple that left Florida for New Jersey at midnight Wednesday to avoid the storm.

“We were told the weather is about to get in there. It’s coming. So we said alright, it’s time for us to go home,” said Robert Cabella, who had been traveling with his wife Fran for 17 straight hours.

“My son-in-law, he works down there, and I’m concerned about him being down there,” Fran Luongo said.

“I can’t drive through a hurricane,” Pat Pilachowski said to explain why he left the east coast of Florida for Maryland a day early. He wanted to avoid the storm when it hits Georgia and the Carolinas.

He says over in the Panhandle, his cousin’s husband owns a restaurant. She evacuated; he didn’t.

“She reports that half of his roof has been torn off by the wind,” he said. “She said the beachfront road there looks like a warzone now.”

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