(WBTV) - SUNDAY 1:15 p.m.: Last week, Hurricane Irma's track had her headed towards Charlotte. People were wondering if Hugo sized damage was in our forecast and WBTV was preparing to cover it with all possible resources.
Then, Mother Nature shifted her gaze west. Fort Myers and Tampa found themselves in the direct path instead of Miami and North and South Carolina gave their spot up to Georgia. And yet, we're still covering it.
Kristen Hampton and I headed down I-95 to South Georgia yesterday to cover the mass exodus from Florida. Our primary goal was not to cover the event – but the people who were affected by it. National News is doing a fine job at documenting the storm. But what about the men, women and children who left everything behind, got in a car and headed north, not knowing if home would still be there when they return? Those are the people we're trying to find to tell their stories.
Yesterday, we pulled over a gas station off I-95 in South Carolina and a man waved at me. I asked him if he wanted to come over and chat. He was evacuating from Orlando and told me he had his cats in the car along with something else very special. I asked what and he said he'd taken his wife's ashes with him. She died of cancer last year and he refused to leave her behind.
I was speechless.
His devotion to his wife was a beautiful thing that took my breath away.
WATCH HIS STORY HERE: If you were evacuating for Hurricane Irma, what would you take?
Those are the type of stories we're here to tell. We're not prying or invading people's privacy. Instead, offering a voice to people in crisis and it's a task I'm honored to undertake.