Florida getting help from Houstonians during Hurricane Ian

Houstonians have stepped up and are answering a call to action. They are lending a helping hand to the communities in southwest Florida.

Houstonians have stepped up and are answering a call to action. They are lending a helping hand to the communities in southwest Florida.

Winds of 150 miles per hour and storm surges left people stranded in their homes and on islands off the coast.

According to the City of Houston, four Houston firefighters who are part of the Texas Interstate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMA) as well as three others who are a part of Task Force 1 are heading to Florida to assist in recovery efforts.

Jesse Fenwick with the Cajun Navy Relief has mobilized in the Fort Myers area.

He says there is a Houston volunteer working by his side to help with recovery in Florida.

“Here, I think they’re more surprised than anything,” he said. “I think they’re so caught off guard that they’re holding this much water and seeing the level of destruction they are because they’re so used to storms and this one turning out to be as bad as it is has everyone surprised.”

Fenwick says there are a lot of similarities to Hurricane Harvey’s Aftermath.

“They are more similar than we thought it would be,” explained Fenwick, “This surprised us with the level of flooding and the amount of water that stayed.”

Director of Distribution Operations and Control with Centerpoint Energy Nathan Brownell says they have crews waiting in Georgia and will be in Florida by the morning.

“You hate to see something like this because you know the customers are in a really tragic situation,” noted Brownell.

The southwest Florida community is now in recovery mode.

“The water is receding now so that’s changing the relief,” said Fenwick.

The Cajun Navy is waiting for direction on where they are needed next.

“It is an immense mobilization effort,” said Fenwick. “Tons of people doing lots of work.”

Along with Centerpoint, they are ready to help with rescue efforts and assist in rebuilding.

“There’s gonna be areas where there will be a complete rebuild of their electric system and that’s gonna take time,” said Brownell. “They’re very happy to be able to go out there and assist the Florida residents to restore power.”

Liliana Lopez with NACC Disaster Services says they are waiting to deploy more goods to Florida. They have some crews there now assisting those in need. They are waiting on the green light to mobilize a shelter.

At that time, more goods will be sent over to help those displaced by the Hurricane.

“I believe historians are very strong and that we always come through we always come through,” said Lopez.

So our community will be by their side as they begin to pick up the pieces and start the long road to recovery.

If you want to donate, they are in need of hygiene products, women’s hygiene products, and baby items.

You can drop them off at their 24-hour donation box outside of their headquarters: 16605 Air Center Blv. Houston, TX 77032.

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