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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As Hurricane Florence continues to churn toward the Carolinas, those who were in the direct path of the Category 3 storm are glad to be safe in Pennsylvania.

“I think we just got out before everyone else because there was about 18 miles of bumper to bumper traffic,” said David Goodrich.

Goodrich and his wife Tori were in Wilmington, North Carolina, in a hotel on the beach. Florence is expected to make landfall in or near Wilmington.

Credit: NOAA

The couple had to drive to Raleigh to catch a flight to Philly after the Wilmington airport closed.

“People were panicking. Lots of tractor trailers coming in with plywood. All the gas stations were out of gasoline. The grocery stores were out of food,” said Goodrich.

“We kept asking when we were going to evacuate and literally Tuesday morning we went down to the lobby and they said you have to be out in two hours,” said Tori Goodrich.

Residents on the North Carolina barrier islands were told to evacuate—no excuses. Business and homeowners continue to board up. More than 10 million people in both Carolinas and Virginia are under a storm watch or warning.

Mike Werner, who took what may be the last flight out Charleston, South Carolina, is glad he’s no longer one of them.

“Unfortunately our other airline canceled on us so we had to scramble to get last minute tickets on American and got out of there,” said Werner.

That same flight from Charleston to Philly was scheduled to leave Thursday but it was canceled a few hours ago. Several passengers on several airlines said the airline companies are being flexible when it comes to baggage and flight change fees because of the storm.

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