Flights from Florida arrive at O'Hare as Hurricane Idalia hits

Passengers leaving Florida and landing at O’Hare Airport say they’re relieved to be in Chicago as historic Hurricane Idalia hit Wednesday morning.

They were on some of the last flights to leave before airports shut down.

Passengers say the airports were very crowded, and lines to go through security were so slow that some people missed flights.

Vacations and business trips were canceled. Anxiety grew as travelers received alerts about delays and stormy weather.


Some passengers who left Jacksonville say there was a break in the system that allowed them to take off.

Mark Pendergrass returned home to Rolling Meadows this morning.

"It was a little nerve wracking because it was storming when we were sitting on the tarmac. I could see the radar and there was a wave… I know they’re professionals. I had an uncle who did it for 35 years. They found that particular window, and we got right out. It’s kind of cool to get up and see the waves. I had full faith," Pendergrass said. 

Sanad Al-Sharee arrived in Chicago for a wedding. She lives in north Florida. 

"It’s a lot of rain so people are just, you know, trying to be careful from damages and not traveling and whatnot," Al-Sharee said.

While being in Chicago is less stressful, some travelers will have to return to their Florida homes, not knowing how much damage might happen.