BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In the final hours before some Florida airports stopped operating, some people were able to get a flight out.

Ava-joye Burnett found some of those flyers at BWI, who said they had little time to pack-up and as Irma roared towards Florida.
The national weather service sent out an urgent tweet that said: “this is as real as it gets.”
South Florida Tarmacs will stand empty as Hurricane Irma hurtles into its cities. On Friday, airports were significantly emptier as evacuees touched down at BWI.

“I’m look at the size of the storm and I’m looking at Irma and comparing that to Andrew. I’m like I need to get the hell out of dodge,” says Dotie Joseph, from Ft. Lauderdale.

Twenty-five years ago, she stayed as Hurricane Andrew slammed the state. Now with this storm, she will watch from 1,000 miles away and wait to see when she can return, and to what.

“Just relax and hope that everything is going to be okay and the crazy winds are not going to destroy everything and that the floods aren’t going to destroy everything,” she says.

And as evacuees touch down in Baltimore, some Marylanders tell WJZ they are trapped in the Caribbean. And as more airports plan to shut down, there’s no telling for how long.

The airport in Fort Lauderdale announced a full shutdown at 7:45 Friday night. In Miami, passengers and planes stall ahead of the plan to ground all flights.

“This is the first time ever I’ve left my home,” says Jill Wolff from Ft. Lauderdale.

Even storm- experienced Floridians buying a one-way ticket north out of Irma’s path.

“I don’t have a return flight,” says Wolff.with hurricanes churning behind Irma, it’s too early to say how long air travel will stay paused and what the ripple effects could be.

With hurricanes churning behind Irma, it’s too early to say how long air travel will stay paused and what the ripple effects could be.

At least 22 death have been blamed on the storm so far after it caused catastrophic destruction in the Caribbean.

RELATED: Irma’s Victims In The Caribbean Brace For Another Hurricane

A state of emergency in effect for Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina. Hundreds of thousands of people have evacuated.

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