ArkLaTex travel agent helping people get out of Irma's way

ArkLaTex travel agent helping people get out of Irma's way

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Floridians are not the only people rushing to escape the fury of Hurricane Irma.

Tourists who traveled to south Florida and the Caribbean also have run straight into the historic storm's path.

A Shreveport travel agent told us she's been in near constant communication with several dozen of her clients in recent days, helping get them out of harm's way.

Debbie Stewart, of Affordable Escapes Travel, said she won't soon forget her first reaction to learning the dangers Hurricane Irma poses.

"Dear God pray! Seriously. Because right now, Irma is the size of Texas, to put it in perspective."

Stewart said most of the large airliners are either booked up or flights have been canceled.

But she said she's been able to find smaller carriers, along with important phone numbers, directions and new travel arrangements for her clients in real time.

Stewart also told us her phone has been ringing off the hook.

"Oh, like crazy from people who booked online and said, 'We can't get help. Is there anything you can do for me?' And I said, 'Well, sure'."

Stewart said she spent the past two nights making sure all her clients have safely gotten away before Irma could hit.

Understandably, she said, many are upset about the situation.

But they insist it could have been much worse for them had they been stuck in Irma's path.

Stewart reminds travelers that they can take another trip and that some businesses may even offer compensation for a new trip.

And while some have called travel agencies passe, Stewart says her industry is on the rebound, largely because of storms like Irma, in which people need help.

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