Florida evacuees extending their stays in Middle Tennessee

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – More Floridians are extending their stays in Middle Tennessee after state and federal officials have warned that some areas will be without power for weeks.

Facebook groups like “Florida to Nashville Hurricane Evacuees” and “Hurricane Irma Emergency Housing” have been created to help.

Brittney York and her family came to Nashville from Orlando on Friday after her friend, a Red Cross employee, urged them to leave.

“It was only supposed to be an eight hour drive, so I said, ‘Why don’t you guys come stay with me for a couple days and stay away from the hurricane?’” said Lyndsie Brenan, a Red Cross Development Specialist. “They’re like my family and I wouldn’t want to see anything happen to them, so I just wanted them out of harm’s way.”

York and her family endured 14 hours of gridlock to get to Middle Tennessee.

(Photo: WKRN)

“At the gas stations, cars were out in the road lined up to get gas; people were filling up gas cans and putting them on the back of their cars; rest areas had an hour long line out and people were on the grass parked everywhere just to go to the bathroom,” York said. “It was like that up until Atlanta and then once we got passed that it was smooth sailing.”

Still, they couldn’t escape Irma.

“We left to get away from it and now I feel like it followed us here,” she said.

They’re holding their breath and hoping to go home Tuesday morning, though they’re not sure what they’ll find.

“Hopefully everything will be ok there and if there was any flooding, hopefully there wasn’t too much damage,” York told News 2.

Brenan said she’s always looking to help and suggests you download the Red Cross app.

You can find shelters in your area, safety tips and any weather warnings heading your way.

MORE: Complete coverage of Hurricane Irma