Flights to Detroit sold out as Floridians evacuate ahead of Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian expected to hit Florida on Wednesday

Flights from Tampa to Detroit were sold out Tuesday filled with passengers scrambling to get out of Hurricane Ian’s path.

ROMULUS, Mich. – Flights from Tampa to Detroit were sold out Tuesday, filled with passengers scrambling to get out of Hurricane Ian’s path.

Travelers say the airports in Tampa and Orlando were packed and flights were sold out.

“We weren’t sure if we were going to get out or not, but luckily we did this morning,” Erik Short from St. Augustine, FL said.

A mom from Ft. Meyers and her twin boys landed in Detroit Tuesday afternoon, seeking refuge from the storm with family in Michigan.

LIVE UPDATES: Hurricane Ian nears Florida -- storm track, evacuations, emergency info

Nadine Rogel was relieved when she landed a seat on the last Delta flight from Tampa to Detroit. She’s also planning on staying with family in Michigan until it’s safe to return.

“Rather than get a rowboat and row myself to the grocery store, I decided to come to Detroit,” Rogel said.

A West Michigan couple also erred on the side of caution, returning home early from their trip to Disney World.

“I would rather have a blizzard than a hurricane, so we decided to cut it short and come home,” Penny Walters said.

A University of Central Florida student from Troy saw this as an opportunity to enjoy a fall weekend in Michigan.

“Yesterday, they canceled classes for Wednesday through Friday, so I kind of just decided to make a last-minute trip home,” Uday Jalf said.

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About the Authors:

Jacqueline Francis is an award-winning journalist who joined the WDIV team in September 2022. Prior to Local 4, she reported for the NBC affiliate in West Michigan. When she’s not on the job, Jacqueline enjoys taking advantage of all the wonders Michigan has to offer, from ski trips up north to beach days with her dog, Ace.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.