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North Carolina family travels to Niles to seek shelter from Hurricane Florence

Jim and Chelsea Walls say their 3-year-old daughter is the main reason they left

NILES, Ohio (WYTV) - Over a million people have been on the move this week to get away from Hurricane Florence. Three of which have come to the Valley looking for shelter until it's safe to return.

Jim and Chelsea Walls just got married on August 17. Their honeymoon includes getting away from Hurricane Florence.

"We left Tuesday at 3 a.m. to make sure that we would beat all the evacuation," Chelsea said.

The hurricane is bearing down on the North Carolina coast. The Walls live in Fayetteville, which is 90 miles inland.

They ran into traffic while evacuating because a normally nine-hour trip to Niles became 12 hours. They said it was difficult to find gas.

Their 3-year-old daughter Carly was the main reason they left.

"We didn't want anything to happen to where it would be so severe to where we had to worry about a little life who has to depend on us," Chelsea said.

Now, Carly can spend extra time with her grandmother.

The Walls were not in an evacuation zone, but were told they should be prepared for flooding.

Emergency officials say floods are likely and power will go out for days, if not weeks. The Walls didn't like how that sounded.

"The amount of rain they were going to get, we decided it would be safer so we wouldn't get stuck in the flooding," Chelsea said.

As the storm approaches the coast, they keep watching for updates.

"It's nerve-wracking because we have family there. We still have people that are important to us that decided to stay," Chelsea said.

One of those people is Chelsea's grandmother. She had to be talked out of staying on an island and instead moved inland so she would be safe.

The Walls hope the storm will be out of the way by Sunday so they can return home to North Carolina.


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