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PORTLAND -- As Tropical Storm Isaac thrashes the Florida Keys and builds up power in its expected transition into a hurricane, travelers were rushing to get to their destinations before airlines cancel flights.

KGW spoke to some passengers at the Portland International Airport who were relieved they got out of the Gulf Coast before the brunt of the storm hit.

Interactive:Tracking Isaac

We got out of there just in the nick of time, said passenger Kourtney Jacobs.

She had been attending a wedding with friends and family in Pensacola, Florida.

It was close, it was close. I was worried about flight delays and stuff, she said.

Kourtney said her group was able to make it back to Oregon just hours before the airport in Pensacola was due to shut down.

Countless flights were already canceled or about to be canceled on Monday, due to the storm.

More:Check PDX flight schedule

I just wanted to get out of there so I can get back to work and make sure I'm not delayed there for a long time, said passenger Nicholas Pollay.

Although experts believe this storm will be weaker than Hurricane Katrina, it brings back painful memories of what happened back in 2005.

I think of my friends that are still down there, I think about them having to go through this again... It's kind of troubling, said Katrina survivor Leah Loe.

The storm has already forced the Oregon delegation to re-shuffle its plans for the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Organizers canceled the first day of the convention, due to the storm.

We're all safe, we're fine. It basically missed us, said Ore. Republican Chair Allen Alley.

PDX does not have any direct flights to New Orleans.

(KGW reporter Kyle Iboshi contributed to this report.)

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