Roseville Family Stuck in Path of Hurricane Irma Makes it Back Home

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ROSEVILLE -- Somewhere in the bumper-to-bumper traffic of tens of thousands of cars trying to escape Florida last week, was the Surface family of Roseville, who had set out on an impromptu road trip trying to get from Florida to Atlanta to escape Hurricane Irma.

As an adventurous family with kids aged 12, 8, 6 and 2, a little chaos isn't out of the ordinary for the Surfaces.

But when what was supposed to be a seven-hour trips turned into 17 hours in a five-seater car -- that puts even the most easy going of people to the test.

It all started when the Disney cruise the Surfaces had surprised their three oldest kids with turned around early to avoid the hurricane. A tip from a local led the family to try and drive out of state rather than getting caught at the airport.

"He says Orlando Airport will shut down 48 hours before ... get out of town," Dean Surface said.

So Karen, Dean, Dakota, Avery, and Taylor piled into a five-seater sedan.

"She goes 'can't we just please get a van?'" Karen Surface said.

But no vans were available. They were lucky to get a rental car of any kind.

And they became the poster family for the phrase "pack your patience."


Then, there was this gem from Taylor.

"'Daddy I don't feel so good, my tummy's upset,' and within 30 to 45 seconds he's throwing up all over the backseat," Dean Surface said.

As they drove, Dean and Karen said they did have time to reflect on the big picture.

"Gosh, you're thinking, how are people going to survive that?" Karen Surface said.

And as they worried over the unexpected costs of gas, rental prices and hotel rooms, they say they suspect the expense of evacuating is a big part of why some people stayed behind.

"They're going out of their way to help to serve. I'm thinking there's probably people here who are helping us get away who don't have the ability to get away," Dean Suface said.

And while it certainly wasn't the vacation they signed up for it was certainly the stuff precious family memories are made of.

"It was extremely stressful, I need a vacation to recover from my vacation," Karen Surface said.

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