A former Montana resident and her family were forced to evacuate their home in Tampa early Tuesday in order to find safety from Hurricane Ian.
The storm has hit western Cuba and is moving into Florida. Katy Crews, a former MTN reporter, and her family made the quick decision to leave their house and flee once they heard that it was in a direct line with the storm's path.
"We woke up this morning with the 5 a.m. update saying that it was literally right over our house. So that was not a good feeling when you wake up to that," Crews said.
Once the decision was made to leave, the family spent the morning boarding up windows and collecting water in pots, pans, cups, sinks and bathtubs.
"My husband and my father-in-law were putting up our hurricane shutters. Part of the practice of getting ready for a hurricane is you fill up whatever you can with water because you want to have water when you get back," Crews said.
The Crewses, who have an 8-month-old daughter and a 2-year-old son, did not have another choice.
"We're literally evacuating right now as I'm talking to you," Crews said in a Zoom interview. "It's hard as you can tell with two little ones, but it is what it is. We have to do what we have to do."
They are just one of the thousands of families evacuating their homes to find safety. The Crewses chose to take smaller roads to avoid some of the traffic.
"The interstates were backed up. We took all country/county roads to get down here," Crews said.
Now, the family has to wait and hope that their home will be waiting for them when they are able to go back.
"It's like 'man is this all going to be trash when we get back?' It was hard to leave the house,"
For the Crews, it's going to be a nerve-racking next few days, but at least they will have each other.
"I mean obviously the most important thing is that we're all together and that we're all safe, but we're going to be biting our nails watching TV the entire time we're here in the hotel," Crews said.