Wisconsin natives hunker down, head south ahead of Florence

MILWAUKEE -- FOX6 News on Wednesday, Sept. 12 spoke with two people on the East Coast who recently moved from Wisconsin. They said bracing for a hurricane is a bit of a culture shock. Hurricane Florence put a corridor of more than 10 million people in the crosshairs Wednesday as the monster storm closed in on the Carolinas, uncertainty over its projected path spreading worry across a widening swath of the Southeast.

When her son joined the Marines after high school, Christina Williamson mentally prepared for the possibility that one day, he could be deployed.

Jonathan Cheeseman

"But not hurricanes, that's for sure," said Williamson.

Christina Williamson

Instead, 19-year-old Jonathan Cheeseman will take on Mother Nature in his first mission.

"It's kind of scary for me to see my son is so far away," said Williamson.

From Wauwatosa, Cheeseman has been stationed in Yorktown, Virginia since July. It could get pummeled by Hurricane Florence.

"Walmart is completely, basically sold out of everything," said Cheeseman.

Although people on base were being allowed to leave, Cheeseman said they were only being allowed only travel up to 400 miles. With no family that close, Cheeseman said he planned to hunker down with his fellow Marines from the Midwest and wait out the storm -- while checking in with Mom as much as possible.

Those who were able to get away didn't waste any time.

"I'm planning on taking my valuables with me that I wouldn't want to lose or get wet," said Corey Lemay.

Lemay moved to Charleston, South Carolina after graduating from Marquette University in 2016. On Tuesday, Sept. 11 a mandatory evacuation went into effect. On Wednesday morning, the 24-year-old booked a cruise out of Orlando.

Corey Lemay

Corey Lemay

"It's one way we can kind of evacuate. We didn't know where else to go anyways. Thought maybe we'll make the most out of this and have a little bit of fun," said Lemay.

In both cases, the families FOX6 News spoke with said the worst part is not knowing what's going to happen until it happens. They said people were taking the warnings and evacuation orders seriously.