Hurricane Ian forces millions to evacuate Florida, many heading to Georgia

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 7:53 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2022 at 8:00 AM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said roughly 2.5 million Floridians had already received evacuation orders in light of Hurricane Ian.

Georgia officials provide updates on Hurricane Ian

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will provide the latest update on the state's preparation plan for Hurricane Ian at the Operations Center at the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) headquarters.

Posted by CBS46 on Wednesday, September 28, 2022

And along I-75, our Atlanta News First crews met with dozens of families evacuating from Florida to Georgia to wait out what could be a catastrophic hurricane event.

“I’m worried about all of us, just the whole area it’s hitting. I don’t think we’ve had this big a hurricane in several years,” said Wyatt Echols, who was traveling with his parents from Tampa to Braselton, Georgia to stay with family.

Wyatt’s mom, Cindy, said it was just the second time in fifty years that she’s evacuated from Tampa due to a hurricane.

Kyle Billingsley, from downtown Tampa, was on his way to Peachtree City to also stay with family.

His building in downtown Tampa was in a mandatory evacuation zone.

“We did feel pretty safe about our building itself, but we were likely to lose power, elevators were likely going to be shut down,” said Billingsley, who said mother nature will dictate when they can return home.

While droves of people are leaving the state for safety, thousands more first responders and emergency crews are heading to the state to help in this time of need.

RELATED: LIVE BLOG: Hurricane Ian impacts on Georgia | Sept. 28, 2022

Atlanta News First crews witnessed hundreds of power crews driving down I-75 south heading into Florida on Wednesday.

According to DeSantis, already 5,000 National Guard officers from the state of Florida have been deployed. Another 2,000 National Guard officers from other states have also been called in to help as the state braces for Ian’s arrival.