PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As Hurricane Ian takes aim at the coast of Florida, millions of people are under evacuation orders. Some of the evacuees are waiting out the storm in Philadelphia, while others had to cut vacations short and come back home early.
"If we couldn't get a flight out we were going to rent a car and drive up to North Carolina and take a flight out of Charlotte," said Debbie Zenzal, of Scranton.
She and her husband were vacationing in Florida. They left early because of the storm.
Millions of people are trying to get out of the storm's path.
After getting 67% stronger in less than 22 hours from Monday to Tuesday, Ian is bearing down as a likely Category 4 hurricane that threatens to deliver a nightmare storm surge to the Tampa Bay and southwest Florida regions.
"It's very scary," said Janitra Taylor, who flew to Philadelphia after helping her mom get out of Tampa. "We're more worried about water."
People leaving Tampa via the airport had to get out by 5 p.m. Tuesday. All flights after that time were canceled because of the storm.
Taylor Forr made it out of Tampa in time. She was told to evacuate on Monday.
"They came around and told everyone that we're in the evacuation zone and that we should leave because they can't be responsible for us if something happens," said Forr.
While millions headed north to escape the brunt of the storm, a team from Lansdale is heading in the other direction. The Volunteer Medical Service Corp loaded up an ambulance with supplies and started the 16-hour trip to Orlando. They will be there to help with medical needs.
"It's the right thing to do. If not us, then who?" Said Shane Wheeler, the chief of the Volunteer Medical Service Corp.
They plan to be in Orlando by 5 a.m. Wednesday.
Will Hurricane Ian impact our area's weather?
Officials in New Jersey say it's very early, but they do not expect the impact along the shore to be severe.
Wind and rain is expected this weekend.
Margate Emergency Management Coordinator Chuck LaBarre said one possible scenario has the potential for minor to moderate flooding.
"Moderate flooding in our area is something that would impact a lot of people. Minor flooding is the more prone areas that people know about - moving their cars to higher ground," explained LaBarre.
The Action News AccuWeather team watching Hurricane Ian points to high pressure coming from the north that's expected help spare our region from serious effects.
"It's going to do two things: it's going to rip Ian apart, a lot of the moisture; and it's going to protect us from seeing any major impacts from the hurricane," said Meteorologist Adam Joseph on Tuesday afternoon.
In Margate, officials say they're very careful with storm messaging and warnings, making sure to wait until they have a good handle on what the impacts will be so when the big storms *do* come our way, people will take the warnings seriously.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.