Florida family of 9 escapes Irma; Finds relief in Nashville


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As parts of Florida continue to get pounded by Irma, evacuees here in Tennessee are anxious to get back home.

The Adams family is one of many who have left their Florida homes and are camping at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort.

The family of nine and their dog all piled into a mini-van and set up a tent at the campgrounds while the storm passes.

“Seven kids equal a really big expense so camping is the cheapest way to go,” Bethani Adams told News 2.

Family was all that mattered as they left their home near Fort Myers and hit the road to get out of Irma’s path.

“The only thing that went running through my mind is I want to make sure my kids are safe. If we go back and we have no home I want to make sure my kids are there, so it’s ok,” she explained.

Watching the hurricane make landfall from more than 800 miles away, Adams is thankful her family left.

“We ended up being a direct hit; the eye went right over us.”

Fortunately their home was spared.

“A friend drove by this morning and said the structure is still intact, so we got a home to go to,” Adams explained.

Though they’ve adjusted to this temporary spot in Nashville, they’ve crossed paths with some generous strangers.

“A lot of people have offered to help in amazing ways,” said Adams

The Facebook page “Florida to Nashville Hurricane Evacuees” has been instrumental in helping the family. She tells News 2 that some have provided warm clothes and necessities to her family, while others have offered up their homes.

“It’s really amazing to see people reach out and offer to help.”

They’ve also made new friends with other evacuees.

“Yeah we are all in this together guys.”

The campground serving as the home base for a community of support for those who are all going through the same fears.

“It’s pretty scary, you don’t know, you are just hoping for the best,” she said.

The family hopes to journey back home tomorrow, if they can get back in.

In the meantime, the family is concerned about the weather that could come their way Monday night at the campgrounds.

Officials at Jellystone Park tell us they are more busy than usual and are housing many evacuees, but that the campgrounds aren’t full.