LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Randy Burke had plans to ride out the storm with his is 91-year-old mother in Florida. But as Irma got closer and the intensity grew he decided not to take any chances.
The former University of Kentucky football player and former salesman for WKYT said the crowded roads had them planning to stay in Florida when Irma made landfall.
"Went to get gas and it was lines, real long lines, and we said 'Eh, we'll stick it out,'" Burke Said Sunday.
But as the storm got closer, and with it the possibility of being without power for weeks, Burke convinced his 91-year-old mother to head north.
"I think it would be horrible to be sitting in ninety-two, ninety-three degree weather with no power. It would be a nightmare, I think. No water, who knows when that's going to be back on," he said.
They left Friday morning and he says Florida officials had done a great job of clearing roads, even the emergency lanes, for travelers. But that wasn't the case the entire way home.
"When you got to the state line of Georgia, it all broke loose," he said.
He said the one bright spot was seeing the people of Florida band together, something he witnessed during a trip to Home Depot to buy a generator.
Burke said the current plan is to fly his mother back to Florida once things have returned to normal but he says he's not sure how long that process may take.