Source: The Associated Press, September 8, 2017 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – They call it the Big One – a mythic, massive hurricane that would obliterate the densely populated southeast coast. And it has long been the stuff of Florida’s nightmares.

Irma, it appears, could be it. The storm has triggered near panic in a region of more than 6 million people that includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, clustered along a narrow ribbon of coastline that has seen nearly double-digit population growth over the past five years.

Isabella Janse Van Vuuren just arrived – she left her home in South Africa two weeks ago to start a job as a stewardess on a yacht, which she and other crew members spent time securing. As Irma approached, she was trying to decide whether to stay or go.

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Image Source: Northbound traffic, right, on I-75 through Sarasota, Fla., is heavier than normal, but still moving on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. (Mike Lang / Sarasota Herald-Tribune)