As millions of people brace for Hurricane Matthew, many people in the Ohio Valley are keeping in touch with their friends and family who live in the southeast.
Millions were asked to evacuate what is usually known as the “Sunshine State,” but one Wheeling resident is packing up to head into the storm’s path.
Ed Streski has owned a home in Daytona Beach for about three years, but has never had to deal with a hurricane.
“With having the water behind the house, they’re expecting an eight to ten foot storm surge on top of the high tide, so that could possibly put three to four feet of water in the house,” Streski said. “With 100 plus mile an hour winds going right on top of the house, could lose the roof.”
He is filling his vehicle with generators, water, cleaning supplies, non-perishable foods, plywood, maintenance tools and other necessities to clean up his home and help his neighbors, some who are riding out the storm.
After he arrives, his family will check in to see what else they may need to bring down to the area.
Danitha Blanchard, cousin of 7News anchor Tate Blanchard, is a resident of Jacksonville. She and her family are headed into mainland Georgia to get away from the storm.
Blanchard said she had supplies packed up from the last tropical storm that came through, so before they left they had to unplug their electronics, put the cars in the garage, and secure and board it up.
“So just a little concerned about what we’re going to come back to I think more so than anything,” she said. “But right now we’re just more concerned about our safety and just preservation of life.”
She said as of Thursday evening, Jacksonville was just seeing a bit of rain.
Living on the Florida coast, the Blanchard’s have dealt with tropical storms before, but nothing quite like this.
“I would have to say that this particular time I was a little more nervous than the last storm that we had because of all the closures, the schools, the hospital evacuations, and they’re really pushing, pushing, pushing for everyone to evacuate if they needed to,” Blanchard said.
About 300 miles down the coast, Barnesville native Terry Akers is a teacher at a boarding school in West Palm Beach. On Wednesday, they made the decision to move their 300 students to safety on the other side of the state, in Tampa.
He said moving the middle and high school aged students went relatively well, some of them even excited, as they packed into four charter buses. He said they didn’t hit much traffic traveling out of the area.
Akers has lived on the Florida coast for five years, but has never had to face a major hurricane. “I just know that from what people have told me it’s crazy,” he said.
“They said the noise, and not having power, power out. I read something just a little bit ago that said if it hits right on like it’s supposed to, we might not have power for three weeks,” Akers added.
He said he isn’t sure his coastal apartment or his car will be in tact when he returns home in a few days, but he is thankful for his insurance.
Back in Daytona, Streski said he hopes to only be there for about a week to clean up, but that could change. “Yeah, you don’t know what you’re going to arrive to.”