Despite repeated warnings to evacuate, some people have decided to stay in Florida and ride out Hurricane Irma–among them are several Chicagoans.

Some of them told NBC 5 Friday why they didn’t want to leave.

We’ll be fine, we’ll be fine we’ll keep our phones charged we’ll let you know how we’re doing,” Carole Dotson, her husband and their 13-year-old son are staying in Florida and riding out the Category 4 storm. There’s no mandatory evacuation order in the inland town of lake city where they live.

“Right now the highway is a mess we live next to 75 and its atrocious they are also out of gas in a lot of places,” said Peter Bergerson, who’s staying in Bonita Springs.

Chicagoans Choose to Ride Out Storm in Florida

[CHI] Chicagoans Choose to Ride Out Storm in Florida

He says he’s worried about losing his home.

“I’m worried about my house and I want to be here protect it,” he told NBC 5.

Bergerson has a plan for when things get bad, he says.

“I have a small room that is protected by walls in the house that’s where I’ll go if it’s on top of me,” He said.

Dotson also says her family’s prepared. They have a generator, supplies of food and water and neighbors are cutting down pine trees that can become uprooted and crush homes.

Though she says some residents are now thinking twice about the decision to stay.

“Everybody in our town was pretty much ready to stay but now everything’s changing,” she said.

Begerson, however, has no regrets–even though his wife and daughter and granddaughter left yesterday.

“I’m hoping for the best,” he said.

Published at 5:16 PM CDT on Sep 8, 2017 | Updated at 6:30 PM CDT on Sep 8, 2017


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