Hoosiers escape South Florida before Hurricane Matthew hits


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hurricane Matthew is having an impact on people here in Indiana.

Many of them had to escape south Florida early Thursday morning.

According to the website flight stats, the Miami, Florida and Orlando airports all had the most cancellations in the country.

Some people are barely getting out.

“I think we got out just in time,” said Doug Brown, who left Miami Thursday morning. “They’re closing out a lot of flights so we were one of the last ones out. We’re glad to be back.

One of the last planes from south Florida landed at IND just before noon. Some of them planned on leaving Miami Thursday evening. But nearly every airline that operates at Indianapolis IND is experiencing cancellations to south Florida.

“We had a plan, we’re like, ‘well if our flight gets canceled we’re going to just have to stay down here and ride it out,'” said Mike Gregorio, who was in Miami on a scuba diving trip.

Before they returned to Indy, high winds were already churning up the surf.

But still some who escaped think it won’t be as bad as predicted.

“I wasn’t too worried about it,” said Alexa Angel who is visiting family in Indy, but lives in Miami. “Everybody freaks out for no reason. We haven’t had a hurricane in a long time, but I’m not too worried about it.”

Angel planned her vacation long before hurricane Matthew, but it’s comments like that that’s prompted tough words from Florida Governor Rick Scott.

“We are preparing for the worst. We are hoping for the best. And no one should take any chances,” said Gov. Scott (R) Florida.

But Hurricane Matthew isn’t just impacting south Florida, it’s also the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, all of them will have to clean up from this storm.

But experts expect a quick cleanup.

“Tourism is a big part of their economy, they’re into these resorts getting them cleaned up in a hurry,” said Alex Kutin, the owner of Travel Leaders, an Indianapolis-based travel agency. “It just takes a very short time, I’ve got clients that I just booked this morning that are going to Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) and they’re going at the end of the month.”

As always, you’re encouraged to check with your individual airline before going to the airport.