PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There are plenty of concerns for Florida and Floridians as the powerful Hurricane Matthew bears down on the state, and now the storm is affecting Pittsburgh-area travelers.
Orlando’s airport shut down at 8 p.m. Thursday, and flights scheduled from destinations across Florida to Pittsburgh have all been cancelled.
Southwest Flight 924 was the last flight out of Orlando to Pittsburgh Thursday, and the travelers on it were relieved to be out of the path of Hurricane Matthew.
“I was nervous to be down there,” said Melanie Vargo. “Some of the resorts are new. I didn’t know if they were hurricane ready.”
Vargo, her husband, and daughter, Paige, had to leave Disney World two days early.
“Disney is going to refund our tickets and our room because they’re going to shut down the park today and tomorrow,” she said.
Mary Beth Wilkins, from McCandless, came home early from a conference.
“We don’t have any experience with hurricanes. We’re from Pittsburgh, so it’s kind of like watching a blizzard. Maybe it’ll hit, maybe it won’t, but still not taking any chances,” she said.
Mark Lucas, of Bethel Park, had been staying at an Air Force Base in Cocoa Beach which was evacuated.
KDKA’s David Highfield: “Does it feel good to be out of there right now?”
Lucas: “Oh yes. I didn’t want to be stranded anywhere.”
But with such a powerful storm zeroing in on Florida, we found one woman who’s worried about her family.
Makayla McNaney, of Mount Dora, Florida, arrived in Pittsburgh for trip that had already been planned, but she lives in Florida and that’s where her heart is.
“I’m really concerned,” she said. “I mean, like, that’s my home. I’ve been away from home a lot, but this, it’s really hitting me hard.”