Springboro native flees Tampa as Hurricane Irma threatens Gulf Coast

Springboro native Michael Griffin says he left everything but a few personal mementos and his electronics before leaving Tampa for the Miami Valley last night as Hurricane Irma threatens much of Southern Florida and the Gulf Coast.

RELATED: Hurricane Irma puts a bull’s-eye on Tampa

Griffin, like thousands of other evacuees, fled his home in Central Tampa after the governor issued a mandatory evacuation late Friday.

WHIO’s Sean Cudahy spoke with Griffin as he prepares to spend the next week with his parents in Centerville as the storm moves further north. 

Irma poised to restrengthen, pound Florida and Georgia

“When I first thought it was going over Miami and Orlando I was like ‘yeah, I could stick this out,’” Griffin said.

“After seeing the path change we just had to get out of there.”

Griffin told News Center 7 he drove a congested northbound I-75 to get out of the storm’s path.

“It was nonstop traffic from Tampa to Georgia […] they actually opened up the left shoulder just so they could allow people to evacuate,” Griffin said.

RELATED: Toxic sites likely in the path of Irma

As many work to flee the state, Griffin said food, water and gas were all in short supply. He explained how the unpredictability of the storm’s trajectory was most worrying.

“For all I know I could be back to work on Wednesday, or the storm could go right on through and the place could be flooded three feet up,” Griffin said.

“The uncertainty is killing me.”

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