Bahamas residents fly into South Florida as Dorian disrupts Labor Day weekend travel

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FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) – Residents of the Bahamas have arrived in South Florida as Hurricane Dorian crept closer to their homes and disrupted travel plans for Labor Day weekend travelers.

The last flight from Grand Bahama touched down at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday morning.

“We boarded up the windows, put all of our furniture underneath the house, parked our cars and left,” said passenger Stephanie Higgs.

“Michael was a very, very bad experience for me, and I don’t want to relive it, and so I was happy to leave at this time,” said a passenger.

That passenger gave 7News cellphone video of Bahamas residents shopping for groceries on Grand Bahama earlier this week.

“Everyone’s getting supplies, the grocery stores are packed,” said Bahamian resident Angelica Blatch. “I mean, we’re used to it. We’re used to the process, but you can never tell with a storm.”

Blatch, who came to South Florida for a medical appointment, said she wants to return to the Bahamas to ride out the storm.

Bahamian resident Rashad Thumeson said he also wants to go back home.

“There’s no place like home, no place like home, so I’d prefer to be in the Bahamas, but unfortunately, I’m here, so I just have to make the best of it,” he said.

Honeymooners Lynette and Rodney Loewen said they’ve spent nearly a full day airborne.

“Pretty much we flew for 20 hours to get here, Fort Lauderdale,” said Lynette.

The Loewens said their original destination was the Bahamas.

“We got there, and then they pretty much looked at us and said, ‘Why are you here? You need to leave pretty much immediately. We’re evacuating everybody,’” said Lynette.

“We’re trying to go to Naples, and they can’t get us on a flight,” said Rodney.

Traveler Serenity Young, who was heading to the Bahamas from California, opted to reroute her trip to Atlanta.

“We’re just dealing with it. We’re not used to this at all. We’re from California, so I guess weather does what it does,” she said.

Similar scenarios involving overseas travelers unfolded at Miami International Airport, Friday afternoon.

George Leigh flew in from London.

“We’re going on a cruise, so we’re going to make sure — I think we get out just before the storm hits, so I think we should be OK,” he said. “I’m a bit nervous, but we should be fine.”

Travelers looking to change their flights need to check with their airlines since each has its own policy.

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