CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Dozens of cars passing through rest stops in the Charlotte area Thursday were full of people and pets who had left Florida.
Highways and interstates in the Sunshine State have been backed up because of the evacuations.
Charlotte native Shireen Hameed said she had spent 20 hours in the car with her two boys traveling from St. Petersburg, Florida.
"Mostly because of Texas, we've been saying the last week, if this happened to St. Pete, we'd be under water so I didn't want to risk it with them," said Hameed.
She said she plans to stay with her parents in Charlotte at Irma makes landfall in Florida. The trip hasn't been easy for the mother of two.
"Today we had to get off of I-95 because it was a three-hour delay," Hameed explained.
Others also thought the evacuations were tough. Florida resident George Williams described the drive as "terrible."
"Get out quick. Traffic is so bad you're gonna really back up," Williams cautioned other Floridians.
Many travelers WBTV spoke to said they initially considered staying in Florida, but as the storm got closer they decided it wasn't worth the risk.