SC troopers monitor I-95 as evacuees head back to Florida

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Hundreds of evacuees from Florida are expected to head home along I-95 this week.

Dozens of power companies and first responders could be seen traveling southbound to Florida Monday to help restore power and assist people displaced and without power by the storm.

Family and friends of Joe Tabshe traveled to Florence from Tampa, Florida.

“Nobody wants to take a chance and stay there,” admits Tabshe of Tampa. “So, we decided, family and friends, to get out of there.”

Tabshe will head home Monday to get ahead of the traffic rush.

“Everybody checked on their homes,” describes Tabshe. “Besides some lost power, we’re all fine, thank God. ”

South Carolina Highway Patrol says travelers can expect heavy traffic as people from Florida head home on I-95, especially when Florida officials allow evacuees back to certain cities.

“Starting probably this afternoon, tomorrow and certainly the next day, all that traffic that we saw come in during the weekend, is going to start flowing back as those folks head back home,” predicts Cpl. Sonny Collins with SCHP.

Travelers can expect slower traffic since more people are on the roads and they can also expect to see troopers living the interstate to keep people safe.

“I know everybody wants to get home (to) check on what they left, but we’ve got to get you home safe,” says Cpl. Collins. “That’s the number one goal.”

Ghassan Manassa says he is optimistic about Florida’s rebuilding process with help from around the country.

“God is watching,” says Manassa, who will head back to Tampa this week. “We’ll be safe with all the good people of America.”

SCDOT says travelers should download the 511 app to help monitor traffic cameras and jams.