Hurricane Florence evacuees find shelter with family in Fort Myers

Hurricane Florence began barreling into the Carolina coastline Thursday afternoon.

The storm originally put almost 10 million in the cross hairs, prompting many to evacuate and some of those evacuees ended up here in Southwest Florida.

Dale Bradford remembers Hurricane Irma wreaking havoc on Poinsettia Park in Fort Myers.

“I’d say 80 percent of the homes suffered some kind of damage and a lot of them it was severe,” he said.

That’s why he demanded his daughter evacuate her home in South Carolina and get out of Florence’s way.

“I got on the phone and said ‘you have to come down’ and they couldn’t find gas at the time and I said go until you find gas and then get in the car and get down here,” he said.

His daughter, Kelly Gumpert says it was hard to know what to grab, she remembers grabbing her wedding album before coming down to meet with her dad.

Some are finding comfort inside local businesses where Alice Verme says serving Florence evacuees in Florida feels like helping them find something sweet in the storm.

“She explained to me that it allows her and her family to get their minds off what’s going on up North and come down here for a mini vacation almost,” Verme said.

Now, evacuees to see if Florence leaves them a home to return to.

“We might have to relocate here,” Gumpert said.

Reporter:Melinda Lee