(WVUE) - Floridians who chose to stay in Hurricane Irma's path, brace themselves for the worst. FOX 8 spoke to one Slidell native, living in Key Largo, Florida, who says he fears the storm will decimate the area.
Hours before Irma is expected to hit Key Largo and the heavy rain is already falling, with whipping winds. While most residents have left due to a mandatory evacuation, others chose to stay behind.
Slidell native Ryan Muller explains, "It is a virtual ghost town down here, literally. There is no one down here except law enforcement first responders, that kind of stuff."
Muller lives in Key Largo where he works as a federal law enforcement officer. He predicts, come Sunday, the area will look drastically different.
"Some of these homes down here have been here since the 60's, 70's, 80's and they're going to be obliterated unfortunately," Muller commented.
Muller admits waiting for Irma is nerve wracking. Many Floridians feel the same.
FOX 8 met a family from Tampa, Saturday, who arrived in New Orleans on a Carnival cruise ship. They say they booked the trip, last minute, to flee from the storm but realize the impromptu trip will last longer than they expected.
"We're stuck on the ship until at least Wednesday," the father, Berni, said.
The ship is unable to go back to its port in Cape Canaveral. The cruise line doesn't know when the port will re-open. When the family does get back to Tampa, they're expecting the worst.
"They say it's going to do some damage," Berni commented.
Muller predicts he'll see a situation similar to what he lived through in Slidell, saying, "It's going to be devastating just like Katrina."
Judging by what Irma did to the Caribbean islands it hit, Muller believes it will cause catastrophic damage.
Muller says he plans to ride out the storm in a concrete building in Key Largo where he feels confident, he'll be safe. He also tells us he's been in constant contact with his family back here in Louisiana, who are very worried about him.