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Man living in an Impala rode out Irma inside a car wash

Tom Horner, 60, who lives in his Chevy Impala, rode out Hurricane Irma inside a car wash late Sunday. [MARK PUENTE | Times]
Tom Horner, 60, who lives in his Chevy Impala, rode out Hurricane Irma inside a car wash late Sunday. [MARK PUENTE | Times]
Published Sep. 11, 2017

Tom Horner wanted to make sure he could get gas for his Chevy Impala, his home. In fact, the 60-year-old was sitting in his wheelchair next to a pump at a Thorntons convenience store Monday though it was closed.

He had no idea when it would open.

"I only have an eighth of a tank," Horner said. "I can't get anywhere."

Horner, who said he has been living in his car for a year, rode out the storm nestled in the car wash at Thorntons at Starkey and Ulmerton roads.

"It was sturdy and had concrete walls," he said. "It wasn't the brightest idea, but I had nowhere else to go. I was scared to death when all the transformers blew."

He said he doesn't like shelters.

"They have too many rules," he said, rubbing his hip. "I don't like people telling me what to do."

He said he plans to sit at Thorntons until it opens. He said he ran his car all night to keep the air conditioner running.

"I'm stuck without gas," he said.

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