COPLEY, Ohio (WJW) – As Hurricane Ian continues to gain strength, mandatory evacuations
are underway in Tampa Bay.

Among the evacuees is a woman from Northeast Ohio who had just gotten to Florida for her job.

“It’s just a play it by ear situation. It’s an unprecedented situation for everyone involved,” said Alyssa Hertz, of Copley.

Hertz only recently arrived in Tampa, Florida to prepare for her new job onboard a cruise line, set to ship out next month.

“We were at our apartment and we got notified that we were going to be evacuated the next day,” said Hertz.

Tuesday afternoon, Hertz and her co-workers were shuttled by the cruise line to a hotel in Orlando, Florida. Normally, the drive would take a little over an hour.

“It took us about four hours because of the number of people who were coming out of Tampa into the Orlando area and further. I was shocked at how much stop and go traffic there was. I saw lots of state
troopers out making sure people were driving safely,” said Hertz.

In Florida, over 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate. Hertz said she will stay in Orlando to ride out the hurricane.

“We were put up in a Disney hotel. All Disney hotels are designated
hurricane shelters. I know I’m in a safe place,” said Hertz.

Both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando announced they are closed Wednesday and Thursday as Hurricane Ian approaches quickly.