WEATHER

Rescue teams continue to find residents affected by Hurricane Ian

Oct 3, 2022, 7:03 PM | Updated: Oct 4, 2022, 5:34 am

FORT MEYERS, Fla. — Members of Utah’s Task Force One are helping oversee FEMA’s efforts to search for those survivors, which is no easy task.

About a dozen other teams are in Fort Myers Beach, at times going through some pretty rough terrain as boats are on the roads and on top of cars and buildings are torn apart.

Search teams being led by people like Carl Randolph with Pennsylvania Task Force One are trying to find anyone that still needs help.

“You guys are making some real good progress today,” said Randolph.

They’re working with FEMA as more than a thousand searchers comb through the streets of Fort Myers Beach. Sometimes crawling through tight spaces.

And even several days after the storm, they’re still finding people.

“So, the people are resilient,” Randolph said. “They’re proud, and a lot of them do not want to leave their homes with no power and no utilities. they still want to stay.”

Crews help make sure the holdouts get the supplies they need. In some cases, those who stayed did not survive.

“It is critical that we get to them as soon as possible,” Randolph said.

The work is hard. They’re suddenly away from family, now in a community dealing with their worst of times.

“I joined this team in 2005, so I have seen this before,” Randolph explains. “Unfortunately, with hurricanes, it doesn’t really surprise me to see what I’m seeing now.”

But surprising or not, it takes a toll. Not only in seeing a community decimated but in seeing its impact on people.

“We do have peer counselors that are out and walking around and integrating with the teams,” he said.

Randolph said this kind of help is essential for everybody.

“We need a mentally healthy,” he said “Mentally emotionally healthy team in order to get this type of work done, and we rely on each other a lot.”

And the people, the local leaders, and law enforcement are depending on them to help make sure people out here are safe

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Rescue teams continue to find residents affected by Hurricane Ian