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One Hurricane Irma refugee tells her story from Bay City

Flickr user Robbie Sproule

Imagine leaving your home with one car load of belongings and the potential of never returning. For over six million Florida residents that ‘what -if’ was a reality.

Kelly Metevia said she fled to Michigan last week with her husband, two kids, and two dogs. They stayed with their parents in Bay City.

“My husband and I were going through our house. What’s a keepsake? What’s a necessity and what is not? We had to make those tough decisions. It was heart wrenching to make those tough decision about what are we going to leave behind. Did we forget something that would have meant something to us or meant something to our children that they’re going to miss forever”?

She said not only was it emotionally difficult it was logistically difficult making the trip too.

“The gas stations north of Tampa were already jammed with people. I started to try to fill up my car with regular and it was already gone. So then everyone was like go to premium, go to premium. So then my husband came over swiped his card really fast and I was able to get premium. That was a big sigh of relief”.

Metevia said she’s heard her neighbor hood didn't get hit as hard as predicted with flood waters staying relatively low. She said they plan on going home later this week to assess the damage.