Irma evacuee from Miami takes shelter in Durham

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For Miami resident RonChadd Wilkins, evacuation meant a chance to visit Durham family.

The Bull City was first home to some of the evacuees from South Florida. For those evacuees who returned to Durham, Hurricane Irma provided a quick reunion with their families in the City of Medicine.

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ABC 11 spoke with RonChadd Wilkins at Beyu Caffe. The 36-year-old lives in a high-rise condo in Miami's Brickell neighborhood downtown.

That entire area around his condo had flooded streets.

Wilkins was most concerned about the integrity of the construction cranes near his building, and how they would withstand Irma's hurricane winds.

Luckily, Wilkins said his building was spared any significant physical damage.

But some of the cranes were hit hard and damaged by Irma.

"To see the pictures in downtown. There are two buildings from me where a crane was actually in the air spinning uncontrollably," Wilkins said. To know that could have fallen on a nearby building or my building is very scary."

PHOTOS: HURRICANE IRMA IN FLORIDA


Wilkins says some of the elevators are down in his 37-story building.

When Wilkins tried to evacuate Thursday ahead of the approaching storm, flights and trains were booked. So he drove up I-95 to get to Durham.

Wilkins says there were so many evacuees on the road that it took him 17 hours to get to the Triangle when normally it would take about 12 hours.

He learned Monday that his condo building is back open. He plans to drive home Tuesday.

"I am a little bit relieved that the eye of the storm didn't hit Miami, so I can return back home," he said.

Related Topics:
weatherhurricane irmaevacuationdurham county newsDurhamDurham County
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