WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. – Brevard County officials said lines for residents needing sandbags will flow faster on Thursday than they did on Wednesday as people prepare for Hurricane Irma.
Brevard County sheriff's spokesman Major Tod Goodyear said teams were working behind the scenes on Wednesday filling sandbags with the goal of distributing them in a more timely manner on Thursday at four local parks. (link to location story)
Michelle Billins Butcher told News 6 she waited in line at Rodes Park in West Melbourne on Wednesday for nearly three hours before she was told she could only have one sandbag.
"What am I going to do with one bag of sand?" she asked. "That to me was the ultimate."
Officials estimate there were hundreds of cars in line for the sandbags at that one park alone, and they expect the same number when the distribution opens at 8 a.m. on Thursday.
Still, others decided to forgo the sandbags and leave altogether.
Officials at Melbourne Orlando International Airport said nearly all of the departing flights are sold out over the next few days, and the parking lot is full.
Butcher said she's ridden out many storms in her house, and she's not letting the sandbag issue change her mind.
"All we can do is ride her out and pray she doesn't just take us out, you know?" she said.
On Thursday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard said a Disney cruise ship will arrive at Port Canaveral, and once its passengers disembark, the ship will leave the port empty, seeking safer waters.
USCG officials also said in a news conference on Wednesday their search and rescue teams will be relocating to a safer location until after Hurricane Irma leaves the area.