BUFFALO, N.Y. — Native Western New Yorkers who are choosing to ride out Hurricane Irma are out of time to prepare. Now, they brace.
"We prepared for the worst, and we're praying for the best,” said Corey Feitshans, formerly of Lockport.
That’s her family’s motto as they hunker down in Lithia, Florida.
The former Lockport family's home is boarded up, and they've prepared an interior closet with no windows as their main refuge.
"That's where we'll be, probably most of Sunday night,” she said.
When asked how her family made the decision to say, Feitshans said she didn’t want to add to the evacuation traffic, nor get caught running out of gas.
“People in the coastals need to evacuate. It's mandated for the safety of their life. For me, I have a home, a home that can sustain these winds. For them, they need to be on the roads,” she said.
Katherine LaFever, of Newfane, just started her freshman year of college at Florida State University, but already, classes are canceled through Monday.
"The University has been emailing us a lot, and kind of telling us what to do. An RA has been around, basically just like 'stay in your residence hall, don't go outside,’” LaFever said.
She couldn't get a flight out, so she and her dormmates stocked up and will stay put.
"My mom's been calling me every day, and she's like, ‘Keep your phone charged,’ and I have a portable charger in case the power goes out,” LaFever said.
Laura Boothby in North Palm Beach was already seeing rough surf on Saturday. Her family in Hamburg is worried.
"They have never lived through it, they've never experienced it, and they've watching the news, and they're panicking,” she said.
Boothby and her husband are staying partly because she wants to be there for her 97-year-old neighbor.
But additionally, she’s a longtime volunteer for a Florida horse rescue called Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue that can’t easily be moved.
“The horses this time are staying on the property, they have a very solid barn, they have 50 horses, they also have goats, they have chickens, they have cats,” she said.
Chickens have been moved into people’s houses for the hurricane.
Boothby expects there will be some damage and is hoping donations keep the rescue up and running.
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