CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — Volunteers from Operation Northern Comfort arrived back home Saturday night after spending nearly a week in Fort Myers, Florida to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian.
A second trip now in the books for volunteers.
“Its been a really rewarding experience. Its been hard work,” said Laurel Flanagan, CEO of Operation Northern Comfort.
Not to mention a lot of sweat, hard work and dedication.
“We haven’t run into anybody who is like when are you going to finish this. Everybody is just grateful that we’re here and we’re doing what we can,” said Flanagan.
For the past six days, volunteers have been working morning to night on different projects, picking up where they left off after spending a week in Fort Myers this past January. One of those projects being a woman whose mobile home was damaged by Ian.
“She’s been wearing the same outfits and clothes since October and just washing them over and over,” said Flanagan.
This time around, volunteers were finally able to bring in some of her personal things.
“She had been living in a space her back porch since October so her bed was out there and her chair and a TV, and that was just where she stayed,” said Flanagan.
But progress is being made.
“When we left we had it to the point where we had brought all of her stuff inside, she slept inside in her own bedroom the first night after we left,” said Flanagan.
Volunteers also worked on another person’s home, helping them to get back on track. They also cleaned up at the local church hosting the group after it was damaged by Ian.
“Nobody has an expectation that everything will be all done, fixed and better when we leave, they understand that its going to take time,” said Flanagan.
But their time in Fort Myers isn’t done just yet. They are planning to go back and continue their cleanup efforts this coming Fall.