Florida Tourists Relieved To Return Home To Pittsburgh Ahead Of Hurricane Irma

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As Hurricane Irma was zeroing in on Florida, out-of-state visitors were scrambling and keeping their fingers crossed, hoping they could find ways to get out of harm’s way.

Damien Miles, of Pittsburgh, arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport about 5 p.m. Saturday.

“Everybody [in Florida] was in a panic, trying to get home,” he said. “People were afraid they weren’t going to make it.”

Wrapping up their Disney World vacation early, Miles, his daughter, Madison, and wife, Jennifer, arrived back home on Southwest Flight 2240 out of Orlando.

“We tried to switch our flight from today to yesterday, but there wasn’t anything available,” Jennifer Miles said.

Joe Bagnato was born in Sharpsburg, but he’s lived in Orlando for about 20 years. He’ll spend the next few days with friends, and Sunday, watch the Steeler-Browns game while on home turf.

“I’m happy to be out of danger,” Bagnato told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti. “I feel bad for the people that just don’t want to leave. I mean, it’s a Category 4. Just get out.”

For the most part, returning passengers on the Southwest Flight were expressing a collective sigh of relief.

“I was never so happy to leave Florida before,” David Allessio, of New Castle, said. “Generally, I like to stay as long as I can. This time, we wanted to come home.”

“So glad to be back in Pittsburgh,” Lisa Allessio, David’s wife, said. “I’ll never complain about [Pittsburgh] traffic again.”

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