Connecticut residents fly back home from the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence approaches

WINDSOR LOCKS -- Residents in the Carolinas are doing all they can to prepare for Hurricane Florence as it is expected to touch down this weekend.

Several Connecticut residents flew back to the northeast Tuesday afternoon to escape the hurricane.

States like South Carolina have already ordered a mandatory evacuation and even local residents have fled to other areas for safety.

"It’s the calm before the storm," said Susan Crocker of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Crocker and her sister Linda Moriarty just flew back from visiting family in Charlotte and while that part of North Carolina may not get a direct hit, caution is still being taken with the threat of days of heavy rain.

"It’s a man-made lake and they have dams up and several dams and they’re starting to lower the water gradually so it can hold," added Crocker.

Also on that same flight from Charlotte was Karen Kwiezienski. She was in Myrtle Beach and planned to take a direct flight from there but could not because of the mandatory evacuation.

"We had a rental car, drove to Fayetteville and then from Fayetteville, we flew to Charlotte and then were able to come home," said Kwiezienski of Enfield.

She said the grocery store shelves were all empty and stores like Walmart had to try to keep up with restocking.

"The grocery stores , it was like a winter storm here, shelves were empty and all that," added Kwiezienski.

On the upper floor of the airport was a concerned and anxious mother who waited to see her son who just left for college at Coastal Carolina University.

The storm had forced him to return home.

"I was packing up literally everything in my room. I took everything with me because I don’t want my windows smashed and the wind taking all my stuff from my room," said Jack Gelhaus of Woodstock.

He also described places like Walmart a chaotic place to be down south.

"We went to Walmart last night and probably half a mile line to get into Walmart so we were there for like two hours and then there were two miles down of cars just waiting to fill up," added Gelhaus.

Gelhaus said he has no idea when he will be back to school.