Philadelphia Provides Safe Haven for Irma Evacuees


In addition to all of the other problems caused by Hurricane Irma, one was safely evacuating millions of people from a state that was besieged by one of the biggest storms in recorded history. Of course, many Philadelphia residents travel to Florida often. Whether it is for business or pleasure, a lot of people choose to take trips to Florida on a fairly regular basis. Unfortunately, such travel can be made much more unpredictable during hurricane season. In August and September especially, Florida is often in the target range of some of the worst storms buzzing around the Atlantic.

Especially during the wake of Hurricane Harvey—and the devastation wrought by the storm which just hit Houston—Florida residents were even more on edge about potential fatalities and damage. Luckily, many Philly natives and other travelers were able to find a flight out of Florida at the last minute. Since the airlines were bombarded by people seeking reservations to Philadelphia—and far out of the way of Irma’s path—it makes sense that so many planes were completely booked. The cost of tickets skyrocketed until airline executives put a cap on them. Many people who were not able to get a plane ticket instead chose to opt for taking the train.

After pummeling Cuba and many other islands, the storm headed to Key West and wreaked even more havoc.With reported wind gusts up to 185 mph, Irma was definitely one of the most frightening storms to challenge Florida’s shores in recent memory. Reporters and residents alike commented upon the rising sea levels and the sheets of rain. The financial district of downtown Miami was particularly affected, the streets waterlogged and impossible to pass.

With a run on gasoline almost everywhere in Florida, taking a train or flying was probably the best bet for most trying to escape the hurricane’s wrath. However, a flight from Florida to Philly would take about two to three hours at the most, while train trips would take approximately 30 hours. Those who evacuated the state completely would not have to worry about the hurricane changing paths, which it did several times. For those who caught some of the last flights out to Philadelphia, it must have been a welcome relief to escape all of the challenges posed by this terrifying hurricane.