KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Vols fans are heading down to Gator country for the big rivalry game this weekend. However, Hurricane Irma may cause some travel headaches. Word is circulating that the typical eight hour drive is taking much longer as evacuees return home.
Another issue that’s posing a threat is the water levels. The nearby Santa Fe river is complicating the journey down there. If water rises, it could cause the interstate to flood. Hurricane Irma is affecting plans for some fans.
“I wasn’t sure if it was even going to be down there. I wasn’t sure how bad it was,” said Jake Coffey, a freshman at UT.
He got a last minute ticket and plans to fly to the game.
“The traffic I am sure is going to be horrible with everyone going back to their homes and stuff,” he said.
One man said it took him 18 hours to drive from Knoxville to Gainesville on Tuesday. That information made some fans decide not to go to Florida anymore.
“I don’t want to do that at all,” said Anne Riley.
Residents in Gainesville said traffic isn’t the only problem. They said gas is also scarce and the lines are still long. However, they said most of the roads are clear of debris and water.
Many of the hotels in Gainesville are booked for the weekend. Employees said those reservations were made way before Hurricane Irma but some have called to cancel because of the storm.