East Tennessee native flees Irma

KNOXVILLE (WATE)– Evacuations have been taking place for nearly a week and for one Knoxville native that meant leaving a city she only recently started calling home.

Miami. Finding one of the last tickets to Atlanta, Danielle Buck evacuated her downtown Miami apartment for safety.

“I noticed a really big change in the city. People were really starting to take Hurricane Irma seriously. I went to the grocery store and for the first time in my life I saw shelves that were completely empty,” said Buck.

Buck started school at the University of Miami in August where she is a member of the university dance team, Hurricanettes. She says her teammates that are from Florida are riding out Hurricane Irma at home.

“I think Floridians have a sense of strength about them that makes them want to stay and protect their homes,” said Buck.

Buck’s boyfriend sent her videos of their apartment, even on the sixteenth floor, water is already getting inside. Heavy winds knocked over metal fencing in and around their complex, something Buck says makes her worried.

“At some point, there’s a threat proposed that there may not be power in Miami. I have to be okay with not knowing if my boyfriend, or my teammates, or anyone I love is ok,” said Buck.

Ultimately, Buck says she feels at home in Miami and isn’t sure what she will be going back to. What she does know: the people in Miami are strong and have dealt with hurricanes before. That strength, she says, makes her proud to live in Miami but even so, recovery will still take the support of communities everywhere.

What she does know: the people in Miami are strong and have dealt with hurricanes before. That strength, she says, makes her proud to live in Miami but even so, recovery will still take the support of communities everywhere.

Buck said, “This is a natural disaster that is so unpredictable and so unfortunate that we as a community have to stick together.”

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