Decatur native evacuates Florida, returns to hometown

DECATUR, Ind. (WANE) – Thousands of people decided to evacuate Florida to avoid Tropical Storm Irma. One woman came to Northeast Indiana for safety. Emily Kuck originally planned to wait out the storm at home but as the storm moved closer, she decided to leave.

At least seven million homes and businesses are without power in several states following Irma. The storm is moving its way through Georgia, where two people have died. At least 36 died in the Caribbean when Irma made landfall as a powerful hurricane.

Indiana Michigan Power is sending three dozen employees and hundreds of contractors to help in Florida. Governor Eric Holcomb is also sending a team from Indiana’s Department of Homeland Security.

Kuck, who is a native of Decatur, has lived in Ruskin for the last three years. The city is located just south of Tampa, Florida. She and her 3-year-old daughter packed up the car and left, Thursday night.

Kuck said getting out of Florida proved to be challenging. The traffic was congested and most gas stations were out of fuel. Kuck said the trip to Decatur is usually 16 hours, but Thursday it took 21 hours. She arrived in Decatur late Friday night.

Kuck said she will remain in Decatur for at least a week. She is following updates about the storm’s damage but said she does not know what to expect when she returns home.