More than four hours after the deadly shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, in the midst of the Friday afternoon rush hour, roadways in and out of the busy transportation hub remain mostly closed or gridlocked.
One reason for the delays: As many as 300 people have been stopped by Hollywood police under the Interstate 595 overpass, only to be released one by one after being searched at gunpoint.
I-595 is closed heading east from I-95 to the airport. The ramps from the Port Everglades Expressway into the airport remained closed. U.S. 1 which leads into the airport from the east, was also blocked off.
Griffin Road, which runs along the southern border of the airport, remained jammed at 4:30 p.m., with dozens of family members of those inside the airport still waiting on loved ones.
The best option: Avoid the airport for a while.
Late Friday afternoon travelers began to emerge from the airport. Some had their hands in the air. Others dragged luggage.
“We were in the parking garage and people starting running the opposite direction,” said Daniel McFadden, 42, from Louisiana. “So then we started running the way they were running. We left behind our suitcase. It is what it is. We can replace that. I have never been more scared in my life.”
Police allowed those leaving the airport to head out to U.S. 1. Many of them had dead cellphones, no luggage, and weren’t quite sure where to go.
“We were just told to walk that way,” said Darrell Mills of Chicago. “We are trying to find a hotel or an Uber. But how the heck are they going to get to us?”