It was a bittersweet departure for passengers heading to Florida out of Rockford Monday. Vacationers and residents are now off to the hurricane ravaged Sunshine State. They're bracing for the worst, but hoping for the best.
Florida residents may be saying goodbye to a lot more than their families in Rockford as they board a flight back to the Sunshine State.
"I took probably my last hot shower for a while," says Lisa Torres, who used to live in Rockford.
"No electricity, no TV, no communication; that'll be rough, especially to know we're going back to it. We’re leaving all this nice weather," says Betty Boniface.
Hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Ivan already damaged most of their homes, and now they're just hoping that something, anything, is left.
"The shed and everything's gone, the porch, the chimney’s cracked, no electricity," says Boniface.
"My roof was pretty damaged from the first hurricane, a lot of water and stuff that came in, so I just want to make sure the trees are all up and all that stuff," says Andrea Mason.
Many of the passengers on Monday’s flight were originally scheduled to be on flights Friday and Sunday, so for them the anticipation has been mounting.
"Your eyes are just on the TV the whole time, just watching the eye right over our house,” says Boniface.
Vacationers have also been watching. They say as long as their hotel is still open they're not going to let Jeanne rain on their good time.
"No, no, we won't let it do that. We might not have electricity, but we're going," says Judy Weller.
And despite four rounds of hurricanes and Rockford's sunny skies, residents have no second thoughts about where they now call home.
“I still love it down there. It keeps it interesting," says Torres.
Boniface adds, "I don't think I could take a winter here."