Thousand of Evacuees Travel Through Coastal Empire

With the path of Hurricane Frances still directed at Florida, more than a million people there have been ordered to evacuate. As residents pack up and start moving out, many are heading up Interstate 95. They know this is a big storm and they are getting out its path.

We talked to several people at a gas station at I-95 and Highway 204. They loaded up their valuables and got out of town, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. Thousands of people made a pit stop in Savannah today.

Craig Brown loaded up his family and all their valuables in two cars. "Boxes, generator, pictures, Christmas ornaments, everything and anything that means anything," he said.

They left Daytona last night and are hoping to wait out the hurricane in Savannah. "We can see the ocean from our living room window, so if it hits Daytona, it's gone."

People from all over Florida are taking this storm very seriously; you can tell by the license plates we saw from Miami, Daytona, Jacksonville and many towns in between.

Mary Valentino and her family are from Cocoa Beach. She's headed to the mountains in Virginia with her valuables in tow. This is the second time in six years she's evacuated for a hurricane. "Floyd was bad, that was the first one," she said. "Then Frances. Apparently starting with an F is not a good thing for Florida."

Roland Rouseeau was actually trying to go to home to West Palm Beach. He's been on vacation this summer in New England. "But seeing the storm is coming, I'm going to turn around and go to Valdosta until the storm gets out of the way," he told us.

All anyone can do now it watch and wait. They've told us traffic is bad on I-95 further south, but as of this evening, it's moving fairly smoothly around Savannah.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com