Highways Congested As Irma Evacuees Head Home

Now that Irma has moved out, many of the residents who evacuated our state's coast...and surrounding states... are heading back home and that's showing on our highways.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Now that Irma has moved out, many of the residents who evacuated our state's coast and surrounding states, are now heading back home and that's showing on our highways.

Many people are anxious to get back home and start the clean-up process. But after thousands of people evacuated Florida and Georgia last week, those drivers were back on the road Tuesday.

I-26 East and I-95 South were bumper-to-bumper traffic. On some parts of the highway, the maximum speeds were 20 miles per hour.

"I-26 has been bad, almost all the way from Asheville. We've gotten off a few times to break up the trip. We aren't in a hurry to get back," said Carol Pravetz.

"Stop, go. Stop, go. Oh my gosh, we've been on the road since 12:30pm and we just made it this far," said Tara Music, a Florida resident.

The Florida residents said they decided to evacuate as a precaution. They said, at the time, Irma was still a Category 4 Hurricane, so they didn't want to put their lives in danger. But after talking with neighbors, the damage was not as severe as they thought.

"I think about half of the people in my neighborhood lost power. It wasn't as severe as what happened on the islands, but there was still debris on the roads," said Elena Louwekooijmans, a Florida resident.

Despite the increase of traffic along I-26 East and I-95 South, the residents said they are ready to be back home and will continue driving straight through.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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