MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – As Hurricane Ian churns closer to Florida’s coast, North Carolinians vacationing there scrambled to get home before the storm.

Hurricane Ian cut short Shawna Catlett’s 50th birthday celebration in Miami Beach. She wasn’t planning on leaving until Wednesday.

“But the weather started to get dicey,” she said. “They tell you not to panic.”

She didn’t panic, but did move her flight up when the power at the hotel she was staying in went out.

Grace Alexander also rescheduled her flight to get away from the hurricane. She goes to school in Boca Raton, where classes are canceled Wednesday.

“I originally was coming home Thursday,” Alexander said. “I was like, ‘I’m not getting out Thursday,’ so I had to come back earlier.”

She said it was windy and rainy before she left.

North Carolina may still see some of Hurricane Ian’s effects, but most travelers said they’d much rather be in North Carolina than Florida right now. Tampa Bay’s airport is already closed and Orlando is scheduled to close its doors to commercial flights Wednesday morning.

“I’m glad I’m back. I’m glad we made it safe. I’m glad we beat the hurricane,” traveler Anna Jay said.

While relieved to be in North Carolina, many travelers are thinking of those in Ian’s path.  

“I just hope everyone’s okay,” Catlett said.