Massive traffic in Florida as residents flee Irma

Residents are fleeing Florida en mass, bringing highways to a halt. Delta, JetBlue cut prices.

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Tzvi Lev,

Hurricane Irma moves across the Atlantic Ocean
Hurricane Irma moves across the Atlantic Ocean
Reuters

Hundreds of thousands of residents are fleeing Florida, as Category 5 Hurricane Irma bears down on the Tropical State. The mass flight has brought highways to a halt, and experts are worried that the gridlock can mean disaster.

Bill Johnson, who directs Emergency Operations Center in Palm Beach County, said that he highly discouraged fleeing the state.

“The thinking from people is that they can outrun a hurricane, and that’s the farthest thing from the truth,” Johnson told the Palm Beach Post. “They’re just running from the wind. Wind is not the killer.”

“Seven million people live south of Jupiter, and north of Jupiter the two major thoroughfares drop down to two lanes, so we cannot move all these people,” Johnson said referring to I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike. “Evacuate in miles, not hundreds of miles. We are encouraging everyone to stay within the county."

Aerial footage provided by ABC showed heavy traffic on the I-95 heading north. Many drivers abandoned their vehicles after they ran out of gas, and the Florida Highway Patrol announced that they would tow any abandoned vehicle, in an effort to clear the traffic clogging the thoroughfares.

"Unfortunately, the increased number of disabled and abandoned vehicles has created a problem for emergency workers utilizing the shoulders to reach crash victims and other roadway issues," FHP said in a statement."

Delta and JetBlue announced that they were cutting the prices of flights out of Florida, capping them at $100, and increasing the amount of planes coming and going from San Juan, Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Key West.








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