Florida family with local ties prepares for Irma - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

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Florida family with local ties prepares for Irma

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PEORIA, Ill (HOI) -- -

While there's still uncertainty about the exact track of Hurricane Irma, those in the path are being told not to take any chances.

Jessica Stonbaugh and her family are Peoria area natives who live in Florida right now.

As Irma approaches, they're putting a safety plan into action.

"Irma is definitely scaring me a lot more than the storms we've seen in the past," said Stonbaugh. "It's a much more serious situation that we're really not going to take any chances with, especially so soon after Harvey and seeing what happened there."

Jessica and her husband Cade are currently living in Tarpon Springs, Florida, near Tampa.

Cade is stationed at the coast guard base in Clear Water.

However, with Hurricane Irma headed toward the Sunshine State, the family is preparing for the worst.

Stonbaugh's mother Debbie Dickerson lives in Peoria and is of course concerned about the on-coming storm and how it will affect the family.

"I'd like to get on the plane, and just go; and, if they have to go somewhere, just go with them," said Dickerson. Dickerson doesn't want her daughter to have to be alone with her children during such an event. She told HOI News, "it's just a mom thing, I worry."

Meanwhile, Stonbaugh also has some concurs.

This is the first home her and her husband have owned.

"When you have that mortgage that you're attached to, it makes you a little more nervous," said Stonbaugh.

More importantly, her husband will be staying behind with the Coast Guard.

"I don't know where he's going to go. Basically, he's on the hook with the base until they can evacuate," said Stonbaugh. "He can go anywhere so I'm kind of nervous, because I don't know where he's going to end up."

Stonbaugh plans to head to Alabama Tuesday with her two sons and their family cat.

She told us the family will be moving back to Central Illinois in a little over a year.

She's happy about that; she told HOI News, "I'm not built for hurricanes."

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