WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Florida airports are starting to reopen, meaning many travelers will finally be able to return home.
Finding a flight home has been hard for many across the entire nation because of Hurricane Irma’s impact.
“We’ve been up in the Northeast for about ten days and have been trying to get home for four days,” said Stewart Brenner, who’s traveling back to Ft. Lauderdale.
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Eyewitness News spoke with passengers who evacuated to Rhode Island from Florida. Even though they were safe from the severe weather, they said it hasn’t been easy to watch.
“You don’t understand the feeling, sitting up here and your friends are back home and your house,” Brenner added.
Brenner said neighbors have told him his home is currently without power, and it’s unclear how long it will stay that way.
While some were stuck in New England waiting to go back to the Sunshine State, other local families were stuck on the other end.
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“We were stranded at Disney up until today,” said Laura Ryan of Massachusetts.
The Ryan family left for an annual vacation to Disney World more than a week ago.
They said they were stuck in Florida for four extra days because of an mandatory order to stay put from Disney resort staff.
“You could not leave the resort grounds, they were encouraging people to stay in their room,” Ryan recalled.
Ryan said her family had no idea the hurricane would impact their trip. She told Eyewitness News that by the time they found out, flights back to Providence were already sold out.
The family described the trip as “unforgettable.” They said the hardest part was watching Florida residents prepare for the worst.
“For us, it put things in perspective. We knew were coming home to a safe home,” Ryan said. “We knew we were safe, however there were so many surrounding us who had no idea.”