Sky Harbor passengers scramble to catch last flights to South Florida

Posted: Updated:
(Source: CNN) (Source: CNN)

It was a busy day at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, with most passengers happy to be flying anywhere other than Florida, as Hurricane Irma creeps closer to shore.

But Manny Kouyoumdjian doesn't have much choice and he's not alone.

The Florida man was in Phoenix on business this week, but has to get back to his kids, mom, dad and family in Florida.

"I was supposed to fly into Miami," said Kouyoumdjian. "Now, I'm flying into Ft. Lauderdale. Friends were calling me to say there's no fuel anywhere and to get from Miami to Ft Lauderdale right now, it takes 3-4 hours."

Ian McElfish of Carefree is also in a hurry to get to South Florida, to help loved ones in need.

"I've got family and friends that have got to get out," said McElfish. "They couldn't get out, so we're trying to get them."

Most airlines have already announced that flights in and out of South Florida will be canceled Friday, so Thursday was the last chance to fly in.

"I flew home a day early to get there because I didn't want to get stuck overnight in Charlotte because they already closed the schools in my county," said Lisa Morrow, or Daytona Beach.

Kevin and Julie Jennings of Phoenix, have a home near Ft. Myers, Florida and decided they needed to go there to protect their property.

"It's very scary," said Julie Jennings."I don't know what we'll do. I have never been part of a natural disaster before."

"We're not going into the eye of the storm," said Kevin Jennings. "If we get told to evacuate, we'll evacuate."

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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