ASHLAND, Va. - While more than a million people have been ordered to evacuate coastal areas in the Carolinas and Virginia, hundreds of thousands of them could be making their way through the D.C. region as they seek shelter from the storm.
Dozens of evacuees from Myrtle Beach to the Outer Banks stopped to stretch at a rest stop in Ashland, Virginia off northbound Interstate 95. The drivers told FOX 5 traffic was extremely heavy for much of their drive north.
They left their properties behind while seeking safety from Hurricane Florence's path. Many evacuees said something about this storm in particular made them heed evacuation orders despite attempts to ride out storms in the past.
Chip Orr is headed from Wilmington, North Carolina where he lives on the water, to family members in the mountains of Pennsylvania.
"We've rode them out for the most part," he said. "[Other hurricanes] were like [Category 3], but this one is a little bit more threatening and I'm just going with my gut feeling to play it safe and get out of there this time."
"Our emphasis is on the safety of our family, and everything else is just materialistic and we can rebuild that part," he added.
Traffic is expected to be heavy Wednesday as well as people make last-minute plans to evacuate.