Florida residents race out of Connecticut to make hurricane preparations

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WINDSOR LOCKS --  Preparations for Hurricane Irma are well underway in Florida, as the monster storm inches closer to the sunshine state.

Many residents are planning to leave to safer grounds while others are heading into the storm zone.  Several were taking some of the last flights to Florida out of Bradley International Airport.

“We need to hunker down our house,” Michelle Sheldon, a Tampa resident and newlywed.  She and her new husband Brian were left scrambling Thursday to get back to Tampa after their wedding in Vermont.

“We got married yesterday and our flight got cancelled for Friday so the only time we could get out is today,” Michelle said.  The two will now be spending their honeymoon days getting their home ready for what’s now being called one of the most powerful storms in the Atlantic’s history.

“We’ve worked hard to put on hurricane windows, hurricane doors but there are some loose things outside that could hurt other people so we want to make sure that we put our stuff away,” Michelle added.  The newlyweds said they are hoping to ride the storm out as long as possible, but the next few days are full of uncertainty.

“We’ve never been evacuated before, but Category 5 we’ve never had either,” she said.

Tampa residents Jeri and Robert Johnson had to end their golden wedding anniversary trip to New England to get home and board up.

“We live there and we just want to be at our home when whatever happens, happens,” Jeri said

“We’ve lived there for 40 years so we know these storms are unpredictable, and it may or may not be close to use, and if it’s going to be we’ll know a day in advance whether or not we should get out of dodge, and we’ll go somewhere else,” Robert explained.

Lotti Koczor, from Ft. Lauderdale, was also forced to cut her visit to Connecticut short in order to get back to her house and family ahead of the storm.

“My sister is down there so they already get some water, filling up gas with the cars, putting shutters up, buying candles, flash lights, we actually bought a couple stuff from here taking it down there because we know the shelves are empty already,” Koczor said.

Thursday, flights to and from Florida out of Bradley were continuing to run as scheduled but that is expected to change as Hurricane Irma nears the Florida region.

FOX61’s Lorenzo Hall will be reporting LIVE in Miami as Hurricane Irma approaches