Evacuees fleeing Irma's path find shelter in Charlotte area

Certainly more Florida and Georgia license plates than usual in Charlotte as people from those states flee the path of Irma.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There are certainly more Florida and Georgia license plates than usual in Charlotte as people from those states flee Irma's path.

As those people evacuate north, they are being met with open arms.

Inside the New Outreach Christian Center, they are giving away non-perishable food to evacuees to help hold them over until they figure out their next move.

It's a move that many evacuees are uncertain about.

Sabrina Hamden and her family came to Charlotte from Tampa. They evacuated with six family members and their parrot.

They initially weren't going to evacuate, believing they had braved plenty of hurricanes before. But when Irma began to shift, they made a last minute decision to get out.

The family said they packed in a matter of minutes, grabbing valuables, including the bird.

Sabrina, a student at the University of South Florida, said there are a lot of unknowns right now.

"I don't know," Sabrina said. "I'm worried about my school. We're worried about classes right now. My sisters are worried about classes. We don't know what we're going back to."

Sabrina and her family found room in a Charlotte hotel. Others went to a Red Cross Shelter, like Vincent and Betty from Deltona, Fla.

They drove for hours, not finding a place to stay.

"We just couldn't get anything," Vincent said. "A lot of places are closed."

Both have some health issues and finally decided to pull over and stop. That's when they said a highway patrol officer found them and directed them to a shelter.

The American Red Cross said they will keep their shelters open for as long as there is a need. You can download the Red Cross free app to find shelter locations.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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