Mid-South families evacuate Florida before Hurricane Michael

Mid-South families evacuate Florida before Hurricane Michael

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Hundreds of thousands evacuated Florida before the intense storm hit.

Many families from the Mid-South were forced to change their Fall Break plans due to Hurricane Michael.

Shelby County School students are on fall break this week along with a number of municipal school districts.

The gulf is a popular destination for Mid-South families, with some fleeing from the direct path of Michael.

Germantown resident Kathryn Hough talked to WMC5 Wednesday from a condo in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Roughly 200 miles away from where she was just one day ago, her group of friends and their children were told to evacuate Seagrove Beach, just west of Panama City. They packed up Tuesday morning.

“When it got Monday night we knew we couldn’t stay,” Hough said. “They were going to start shutting down the bridges to get out of that area, so we had to leave.”

Hurricane Michael roared ashore near Mexico Beach, Florida just after the noon hour with 155 mile per hour winds.

Mike Crook from Munford was vacationing with his family in Perdido Key, Florida about 200 miles from where the hurricane made landfall.

He said most tourists there got out fast, not wanting to chance it with such a strong storm.

“You drive past the condos and the parking lots were mostly empty the one here is emptying out too when I went downstairs this morning, I saw two cars loading up and taking off, so I think a lot of people bailed out,” Crook said.

Both families said Wednesday afternoon was at best windy, if that.

By late afternoon, Hough said she was seeing blue sky.

Memphis native rides out the storm in Destin

Memphis native Justin Beck was on Facebook Live in Destin, Florida just hours before Hurricane Michael made landfall. "We got back in time just for the hurricane,” Beck said.

Beck moved to Destin in 2015, but he was just back in Memphis last weekend.

He said his area wasn't told to evacuate before the storm.

"I've seen a lot of videos and pictures out of Panama City and it's a lot worse than it is here is Destin,” Beck said. “I think the storm made landfall probably about 80 miles east of me."

Beck said he's thinking of those who are being displaced because of the storm.

He knows things for him could have been a lot worse, and he already knows what’s next.

“Go about our daily routine,” Beck said. “I’ve already talked to my bosses and I’ll be at work tomorrow morning.”

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