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Montana couple dealing with Hurricane Irma evacuations in Florid - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Montana couple dealing with Hurricane Irma evacuations in Florida

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Conrad-based long-haul trucker James Czech and his wife Jessie Czech drove into Florida on September 6 to make a delivery outside of Tampa. 

It did not take long for them to experience the pre-landfall effects of Hurricane Irma.

According to Jessie, while they were driving southbound, northbound traffic was bumper-to-bumper and practically at a stand-still.

They continued to Orlando where they had to make a pick-up and as soon as they were northbound, their average speed was just two to twelve miles per hour. 

While in Georgia on Friday, Jessie said the traffic was still very congested and moving slowly.

Jessie said that at certain points of heavy congestion, Florida officials opened the shoulder lanes and both sides of the interstate highway for traffic moving north.

She shared photos of the massive traffic, and parts of the highway literally became parking lots for long stretches, while gas stations and convenience stories were swamped by evacuees.

"It feels absolutely devastating. I feel like I'm caught between a fire burning from the north and a hurricane coming to flood from the south, and I feel like it's so out of control it's gonna meet somewhere in the middle," Jessie Czech said. "I'm heartbroken for the families that I hear we have down here and to see what's going on. And, I'm heartbroken that my family in Montana can't breathe."

The couple will continue making deliveries and pick-ups in the south while outside of the hurricane's trajectory in the upcoming week. ?

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