Families fleeing Hurricane Irma arrive in Philadelphia

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Families fleeing Irma arrive in Philadelphia. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on September 8, 2017. (WPVI)

As ferocious Hurricane Irma headed toward South Florida Friday, many were heeding the word of caution and evacuating.

Action News caught up with several families arriving from that area who have loved ones in the Philadelphia area.

For these families it was a no-brainer: they had to leave.

"I don't think we were so much concerned until about, maybe, Tuesday," said Naomi Pomales of Orlando. "Then we breathed a little because it shifted a little toward the east But then as of yesterday it just got real... because it is going straight through the middle."

"It is just really scary," said Heather Rodriguez of Melbourne, Fla. "They don't know. It can turn at any minute, so it is just safer to get my family out... two little kids. I am sad because my husband is still there."

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Flying out of Florida: Gray Hall reports during Action News at Noon on September 8, 2017.



Many airports in Florida had already started to cancel flights by Friday morning.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was set to suspend operations Friday and remain closed Saturday and Sunday.

Orlando International Airport will close at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Miami hasn't announced if it will cease commercial flights during the storm. But once sustained winds hit 55 miles per hour, aircraft cannot take off or land.

"We were trying to fly home on Sunday night, but that probably won't work," said Yzatiz Vazquez from Orlando. "And I know it is hitting us mostly Sunday night... into Monday, so we will probably extend the stay a little bit longer."

For those who made it out, their fears are not over.

The told Action News they are concerned about those who did not evacuate and those who are still trying to get out. They will be waiting and watching to see what Irma will do.

"Our flight got canceled yesterday," said Terry Hughes from Marathon, Fla. "People were crying at the airport. There were older people in wheelchairs, and they had nothing, nowhere to go and no flights out."

If you have loved ones coming into Philadelphia International Airport, officials say to check with your carrier for updated arrival times.

The last flight out of Florida bound for Philadelphia was scheduled to arrive at 9:30 p.m. Friday.
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weatherphiladelphia newshurricane irmaphiladelphia international airportSouthwest Philadelphia
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