Local nonprofit heads to Florida for Hurricane Ian recovery efforts

BOONE, N.C. — Millions in southwest Florida are left without power and damaged homes in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

Recovery efforts are already gearing up on Thursday. The storm made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday.

Samaritan’s Purse, a nonprofit out of Boone, has been to plenty of storms in Florida to help residents repair damages. The storm has left a large amount of damage and the group is hoping to help those in need.

“This was a bad one,” Edward Graham said, who is the vice president of Operations for Samaritan’s Purse. “And we know that it’s just kind of hovered over Florida, so we’ll see what the damage and error are that we’re responding to.”

Graham and his team loaded two tractor trailers with tools, including 25 saws.

They are aiming to help those that have been displaced from their homes.

“What we do is we tarp roofs because we know the roof get blown off, so we put plastic on the roofs to keep them dried in,” Graham said. “A lot of homes that are flooded, we’re going muck out, so we cut down drywall, rip up the floors. That way the mold doesn’t come in and allows people quickly to get back into the home.”

The recovery mission could take up to a year, according to Graham.

“On average, we could spend months there continue to work many times in areas. We stay longer when we do a rebuild,” Graham said.

Even though the focus is on Florida right now, Samaritan’s Purse is prepared to travel to other states that are in the storm’s path.

“And then when we look to see what happens in Georgia and South Carolina, we can surge that equipment there as well,” Graham said. “So, we have more options based off where this hurricane goes.”

The storm is currently a tropical storm and may return to hurricane status before possibly making landfall in Charleston, South Carolina, on Friday.

The Charlotte area is expected to feel impacts from the system Friday afternoon.


(WATCH BELOW: Char-Meck Storm Water ask residents to clear storm drains ahead of Hurricane Ian)