Florida woman temporarily calling Ky. home to escape Hurricane Ian’s wrath

This GOES-East GeCcolor satellite image taken at 9:56 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, and...
This GOES-East GeCcolor satellite image taken at 9:56 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, and provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Hurricane Ian passing over western Cuba. Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba on Tuesday as a major hurricane, with nothing to stop it from intensifying into a catastrophic Category 4 storm before it hits Florida, where officials ordered 2.5 million people to evacuate before it crashes ashore Wednesday. (NOAA via AP )(AP)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 4:41 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - More than two and a half million Floridians are under evacuation orders as Hurricane Ian barrels towards the Florida Gulf coast.

Floridian Jan Sprenger is temporarily calling Kentucky home this week while the Sunshine State awaits Ian’s wrath.

“My daughter from Colorado called and said, ‘Mom, you got to get out of there,’” said Sprenger.

Sprenger found herself on an unexpected trip to Lexington this week, as Hurricane Ian looks to make powerful landfall along Florida’s east coast.

She hit the road Sunday afternoon to beat the traffic. After 13 hours in the car, they made it to family in Kentucky.

“I thought ‘well, I might as well go. Why stay and worry about it,’ but there’s a lot of people in my park that don’t want to go,” Sprenger said.

Living in Pinellas County, she always kept a close eye on hurricanes that end up in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, Ian has his eyes set on south central Florida, where Sprenger calls home.

“It really got a little scary when it was headed right towards Tampa,” Sprenger said. “I wasn’t too concerned about Charlie either, but I was younger then.”

She tells us, she grew up in Wisconsin and endured plenty of snow and ice storms, but hurricanes are a different beast altogether.

“I live in a mobile home, they’re not very safe,” Sprenger said. “They’re evacuated immediately when something comes around.”

Some of her neighbors stayed behind, with nowhere else to go.

“I’m glad I’m up here. I’m happier being out, but I still miss my stuff,” Sprenger said.

Those split-second decisions, to ride it out or flee, could be a matter of life or death. For now, she will watch, wait and pray.

“That’s all you can do is wait,” Sprenger said. “I feel, bad if I don’t have a home to go to. But I’m not the only one in that position.”

The Tampa and St. Petersburg airports are closing Tuesday ahead of the storm. Several school districts and universities have also canceled classes for Wednesday and Thursday.

Some hospitals in Tampa were also moving patients out.