Irma Evacuees Park Campers, RVs In Parking Lot

Posted at 6:37 PM, Sep 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-11 20:15:53-04

The Walmart parking lot in Nashville was filled with of Hurricane Irma evacuees in RVs.

Several people were unable to find a campground with availability in the Nashville area, leaving them to park wherever they could.

"We were planning on getting a camp site here and coming here and getting a camp site but everything is booked up," James Kintzer said,

The Kintzers evacuated Fort Myers to get out of Hurricane Irma's path.

"Hook up and go," he said.

They transformed their RV into an ark and filed it with pictures and keepsakes. But they knew it wasn't safe to stay. 

Kintzer said, "I wouldn't want to be in a Hurricane in this thing. There's some mobile home parks down there and it just destroyed them." 

James and Ioana Kintzer said they feared the worst for the home they made after retirement.

Kintzer said, "We've been watching the news, and the Fort Myers pier which is probably a good quarter mile out to the ocean, and there's no water there anymore."

Usually their RV looks like a hotel room with a fire place, but this week it's carrying all of their prized possessions.

Kintzer said, "We took the dog, we took all the stuff, and we hit the road. Life is more important than anything."

Ioana Kintzer held her dog "Betty Boop" in her arms. They worried about some of their family members who refused to evacuate.

Kintzer said, "We feel blessed we were not there. And we have the mother-in-law, she didn't want to leave the place. She stayed in the house."

While the Walmart parking lot was not their first option, they've made the most of it. 

Kintzer said, "Yesterday we grilled. Set it up and made hamburgers. We had chicken from Walmart. Salad from Walmart." 

Once the mandatory evacuation order is lifted, they planned on driving through downtown Nashville on their way home. 

Kintzer said, "We'd always wanted to come to Nashville. We both like country music."

The couple actually installed cameras on their home in Fort Myers and brought a laptop with them to check on it. 

Unfortunately, without internet and no power, they have not been able to see the condition of their home yet.