Florida Irma evacuee in Florence unsure when she can return home

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A Florida homeowner says she evacuated the state as Hurricane Irma made her trek toward Miami. Now attempting to return to the Sunshine State, Tiffanie Wicks says she’s not even sure what will be left of her home in North Port, Florida, and the journey to return is harder than she expected.

“We’re trying to go back home and nobody’s trying to help us,” said Wick. “You know, if it does hit, is my house going to be there when I get back?”

Wicks packed up her family and evacuated her home in Florida on Friday.

“It’s been very stressful just to have to grab a bag, what we can, and jump in the car and be crammed up with two big dogs and three kids,” said Wicks.

Wicks said she ran into problems as soon as she left and was turned away by multiple shelters because her Rottweilers weren’t accepted.

“They’re not bad dogs at all,” said Wicks.

Wicks said she had nowhere to go until an old friend stepped in. Jennifer Deliazard said she just moved into a Florence apartment and had nothing herself, but couldn’t watch her friend struggle.

“The important thing was to keep them safe,” explains Deliazard.

When Wicks was ready to return home, she drove 168 miles to the Georgia – Florida border, but when she arrived, a state trooper advised her to turn around.

“If we get stuck sitting on the side of the road, they’re going to arrest me because we’re out past curfew,” said Wicks.

Wicks said she used all of her money to get her family out of harm’s way.

“I’ve got like 70 bucks to my name to get back on, but I’ve got to feed my kids,” said Wicks.

Wicks is a single mom working a full-time job, and said she’s mostly worried about getting back to work.

“I work 40 hours a week and bust my butt and if I don’t get back in time, my job could be in jeopardy,” said Wicks.

CBS News in Miami reports evacuees from the southern portion of the state will have to wait until at least Tuesday before they can return home. Wicks said she hopes to get back sometime this week.