CHICAGO -- More evacuees from Florida arrived in Chicago on Saturday, and they are among the last to be able to fly out. Some people never left their homes.
Residents who decided to stay prepared for the worst.
"What we have to worry about right now is the debris going through the air that's thee biggest thing that frightens me not so much the wind, the rain stuff that flies at 100 miles per hour that has mass to it that can imbed itself in a house, window in a person," Gary Widom, who is staying in Ft. Lauderdale, said.
Widom lives near Ft. Lauderdale and many of his neighbors joined the hundreds of thousands of Floridians who have evacuated this week. He and his wife and four-year-old daughter were going to drive to Georgia, but decided to ride it out.
"The last thing we wanted to do with a child let alone ourselves is be stuck in a car on a highway 10 hours from home when a storm's approaching us," he said.
Others arrived in Chicago Saturday afternoon.
“It felt like it was the last life boat off the titanic that's kind of how it felt everyone breathed a sigh of relief everyone was leaving and we knew everything was going to be okay,” Marcella Constantine said.
Constantine flew out of Orlando Saturday afternoon--her husband, staying in their winter park home to ride out the storm.
“We have a good interior hallway for him to camping out in god willing he'll be safe,” Constantine said.
She is one of the last passengers to make it out of Florida before Hurricane Irma makes landfall overnight.
Airports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Ft. Meyers closed for business as of Friday night.
“The storm surge it keeps changing it goes back and forth east and west,” Sarah Mullholland said.
Mulholland lives on Merritt Island near Cape Canaveral.
“We've been watching it for a week it looked like it was going to come through as a four and hit right over the top of our island so my husband got us tickets,” she said.
Over the last two days, American Airlines added an additional 23 flights out of Miami--getting an additional 4,000 people out of harm's way.
International airlines are also chipping in to help---Qatar, Copa and British Airways were adding extra flights to handle the demand.
Airlines are also getting planes out of Irma's path--forecast winds are strong enough to lift empty jetliners off the ground.
Mary and Bill Kamka got out of Tampa Saturday---they live near Sarasota, which is now expected to take the brunt of the storm.
“We tried a day or so they were all booked or very expensive but United opened up more flights at $99 and we said let's go,” Bill Kamka said.
They have friends staying down there to ride it out, while the Kamkas will spend the next week in Bartlett with their kids, not knowing if they will have a home to go back to.
“The emotional part of it we've got our lives we've got each other that's all that matters that's right that's true,” Mary Kamka said.