BOSTON – By Tuesday night, any flights from Tampa or Fort Myers to Boston were finished, as the two Florida airports closed down in anticipation of Hurricane Ian.
"'I'm used to the snowstorms, not the hurricanes," Lauren Levasseur of Duxbury said as she waited for her bag at baggage claim following a flight from Fort Myers.
Levasseur is a college sophomore at the University of Tampa. In an email on Monday, the school informed students it would be evacuating them since the campus is in "Evacuation Zone A."
Levasseur found the first flight home that she could – from Fort Myers, since Tampa was about to close.
"I just wanted to get home," she told WBZ-TV. "I was not expecting something like this to happen when I went to school."
Other people in Florida were about to experience their first major hurricane as homeowners.
You've got to "move the furniture, button up the windows, get a generator all set up just in case anything goes out," explained Melissa Ford of Holliston, who just Hurricane-proofed her home on the west coast of Florida for the first time.
Others flying to Boston from Florida have lived on the Gulf Coast through several major storms.
Mary Pavone was headed to Waltham from her home in Naples to see her daughter Angela Coleman.
"I escaped!" she said.
"She's happy," her daughter Angela added. "She's very happy because she doesn't want to be down there for the storm."
What does it take to ride out a hurricane, according to Floridians here in Boston who have done it before?
"It takes grit," Carol Grill of Fort Myers said.
"I'm not going to let Hurricane Ian rain on my parade," added Rosemary Wright.
Tampa International Airport and Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers closed Tuesday evening. The airports have not announced when they will reopen.
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