NJ residents stuck in Florida during Irma return home

Posted: Updated:
NEWARK -

New Jersey residents who were unable to get back from Florida before Hurricane Irma struck are now returning home.

TRACKING IRMA: Tropical Tracker | Photos | Weather Center

Passengers tell News 12 New Jersey that the journey from Florida to New Jersey was not easy.

“We couldn’t get a flight until today and even then we weren’t sure if it was going to happen,” says Tory Kaplan.

Kaplan and his family were supposed to return from Orlando Saturday, but Hurricane Irma changed those plans.

RELATED: Latest news on Irma in the U.S.

“We were on the phone for hours. It was hard to get anyone who even knew what was happening,” Kaplan says.

Most of Florida’s commercial airports have been reopened, but hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed. Passengers say that getting out of Florida took patience and persistence.

“We had one airline that canceled our flight. We tried to go back and the only thing we could get was White Plains, New York, which wasn't going to help us,” says Kathy Ruvolo.

Orlando resident Cecelia Orozco says that she wasn’t going to rely on air travel to leave Florida. News 12 New Jersey met her at a rest stop along the New Jersey Turnpike. She says that she drove to New Jersey to escape the storm.

“We’re from up north, so we don’t really know what hurricanes are,” Orozco says. “Once they were saying, ‘Move to a different state if possible’ that's what we did. We have tons of family here.”

Flight service in Florida was limited Tuesday, but is expected to return to normal by Wednesday.

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