Anxious travelers depart dangerous situation with Hurricane Matthew bearing down on East Coast

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Millions are fleeing from the East Coast as Hurricane Matthew threatens to cause historic damage to the region. The flight from Kansas City to Orlando is about two-and-a-half hours, but for a couple who just moved to Florida, the wife's arrival to KCI Thursday felt like the end to an eternity of waiting.

Richard and Virginia Keller are from here but moved to Florida just last month. The two greeted one another at KCI Thursday morning with big hugs, kisses, and smiles.

"We have no experience with this since we just moved there from Missouri,"  Richard Keller said.

He came home a few days ago but she stayed on the coast for work.

"She stayed to help clear the school before the evacuation was ordered," Keller said of his wife.

Virginia described the state she just left: "Yesterday it was really windy and rainy. Today they just said the waves are coming in really high and the winds are supposed to pick up tonight to like 125 miles an hour."

As Hurricane Matthew strengthened, so did the couple's concern about being apart.

"The gas lines were tremendously long, food shortages were already showing up," Richard said. "All the roads going out of town, all the four-lane highways going out of town are all one way, you're going one direction."

"I couldn't believe all the vans and cars that were packed with toiletries and frozen water and food and pets. I felt like I was going to Noah's Ark," Virginia said.

Virginia made her way to the airport in Florida this morning and Richard waited at KCI for his wife. The pair said they only cared about reuniting and that they'll worry about their new house later.

"Like everybody else down there, there's not a whole lot you can do. Prepare and hope for the best," Richard said.

"If our stuff is gone when we get back so be it. That's replaceable. Being together is what I needed!" Virginia said with a laugh.

A group of eight metro women also flew in the on the same flight that arrived from Orlando. They were down there for a medical conference that brought thousands of nurses to the Sunshine State.

"We had 10,000 nurses down there and they shut our conference down because they couldn't do our shuttles and they're shutting the airports down," attendee Karen Poulignot said.

The women's flight was delayed a few hours, but they said that headache is nothing compared to what the who live in the region are going through.

"I really feel for the folks down there, and I really pray that the storm will pass; that it will decrease in its strength and the people will be safe. It's very worrisome," Gloria Solis said.

Experts say Florida is bracing for landfall Thursday night. Walt Disney World is closing for the fourth time ever; the other three times also because of a hurricane.

Keep up with flights in and out of Kansas City International Airport here.