Just in time: Wisconsin families make it out of Florida just before Hurricane Matthew hits

'It was pretty chaotic down there'
Posted at 10:21 PM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 23:21:20-04

MILWAUKEE -- As hurricane Matthew takes aim at Florida, some families were struggling to get back to the Milwaukee-area.

Canceled flight and evacuation orders made the trip even longer, but there was still a lot of relief for those who could get back to Mitchell Airport Thursday night. 

The advice has been clear from the beginning, Florida leaders have been urging people to leave. Advice Kim and Chip Tinder were more than happy to follow. The Waukesha family had been vacationing in Disney with their four kids. 

"It was pretty chaotic down there. There were people lined up for gas, food, water," Chip Tinder said. 

The family had a flight Thursday afternoon on Southwest Airlines but they were not sure what would happen because of the storm.

"We were prepared to drive back to Waukesha," Chip Tinder said. 

They weren't the only one with that plan. Two suburban Chicago women, Becky Moon Duensing and Kari Raimond, were in Orlando this week for a nursing conference. Their flight back to Mitchell was scheduled for the weekend but they decided to evacuate. The problem was, they could not get on a flight. 

"Nothing was flying out," Moon Duensing said. 

But there was one option. If they could make it to Atlanta, they could get onto the same plane the Tinder's were taking out of Orlando once it made the connection. But in order to get there, they needed a rental car. 

"The line was 50 people long in front of me and 50 people long behind me," Raimond said. 

But Raimond was able to get a rental car. The two woman left at 4 a.m. for Atlanta to get on the connecting flight to Milwaukee. 

There were tired smiles all around, but everyone said they are grateful to be safe in their own beds tonight. 

"We made it!" Moon Duensing said as she dragged her suitcase away from the gate. 

Kim Tinder was ushering four tired kids to the baggage claim area, but she was all smiles. 

"Just glad to be home," Kim Tinder said.

The Tinder's said they got the last Southwest flight to Milwaukee out of Orlando before the airport shut down.