The son finally got evacuated from the North Carolina coast which was a big relief. The original plan of leaving with the neighbor whenever (or even if) they could leave didn't work out. So last night we tried to figure the best way to evacuate him and his girlfriend and his dogs. We looked into public transit such as planes, trains, and buses and there was not a single ticket to be had (I'm not sure if everyone was trying to evacuate this way at the same time or they just stopped all flights and other transit ahead of the storm). We looked at having a friend or family member drive in to get them but the nearest person lives 11 hours away plus all of the roads coming into the evacuation area were closed to reverse traffic.
Finally after Googling I found that the county was providing free buses to evacuate people and their pets if they had no other way to get out. He called the number I gave him and they were on the bus and headed out of town this morning. The best part of this is that it is a bus with bathrooms (great if you are stuck in traffic for hours on end) and they will be taken to a shelter with beds, food, water, and even medical care according to the website all for free (which saves A LOT of money over paying for a hotel and food for a week or longer until they are allowed to return home).
So the good news is that they are out of the mandatory evacuation area and will not have to spend much money for food and shelter during the storm. The bad news is that they are still on the bus after more than eight hours! First there was a lot of slow traffic leaving the area then they got to the shelter and found that it was already full, then they went to the next shelter and it too was already full so at the last message the bus of evacuees was still driving from town to town looking for a place to drop off everyone! Yikes!