WNYers in Florida prepare for Hurricane Irma

Nearly empty grocery store shelf in central Florida.

PORT RICHEY, FLA. (WIVB)- Hurricane Irma has left several dead and millions without power in parts of the Caribbean. The category five storm is expected to strike south Florida by the weekend.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for the Florida Keys, and more are expected for other parts of south Florida.

West Seneca native Chad Goodwin lives in Port Richey. He’s never experienced a hurricane before, having moved to the Sunshine State just five months ago.

“I really didn’t know what to expect,” Goodwin told News 4.

He said many of his neighbors are stocking up on gas, water, food, and other essentials.

Many area gas stations are already out of fuel, he said.

“I have a lot of friends in Miami that are driving back to Buffalo. I don’t think I could, the thruway or highway is all backed up.”

Goodwin plans to take his chances at home, until he’s instructed to evacuate.

Cheektowaga native Scott Skurzewski lives far more inland than Goodwin; he’s been in Clermont for almost two decades.

Nearly empty grocery store shelves in Port Richey, Fla.

Even in the middle of the state, Skurzewsk said people are stocking piling.

“We do have enough supplies here on hand that we’ve had the whole time in case we do have to board up, generators here, we’ve got gas available. I did go out and get out supply of gas that I think will be plenty,” he said.

Both men told New 4 the havoc of Hurricane and then Tropical Storm Harvey has a lot of Floridians on edge.

Goodwin feels the silver living of that, is Florida’s preparedness.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott urged residents to take precautions, stating that a storm surge can be deadly.

The governor also pushed for gas stations to remain open for as long as possible to accommodate evacuees.

Those attempting to fly out of Florida are being met with sky high rates, many of them exceeding $1,000.

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