YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – More workers from the valley are heading to Florida to help with the massive cleanup efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
Valley native Lisa Wager and her husband Michael shared images with us as Hurricane Ian was roaring through Punta Gorda, Florida.
“Scary as it sounded like a freight train. It was terrible,” Micahel Wager said.
“run for cover kind of thing,” Lisa Wager said.
But as the sun was shining on them now, crews from the Niles office of Servpro were getting ready to leave for the Fort Myers area to help with cleanup and restoration.
“It is a little early in terms of responding to the storm because the water needs to dissipate and things need to become more clear as to who actually needs the help,” Jim Standohar with Servpro.
This is the first wave of what the company calls “large loss teams” heading south and more will follow later. Standohar says their jobs won’t be all that different from what they did earlier this month when heavy rains flooded parts of Boardman, only on a much larger scale.
“It’s a lot of extracting of water. It’s a lot of drying of equipment. It’s a lot of sometimes removing contaminated or wet materials from buildings,” Standohar said.
The local crews heading to Floriday may not really know what their job will entail as they arrive. Their eventual customers may not know what they will need either.
“Homeowners that are wondering if they do have insurance coverage. If they do have their funds to rebuild. The heartbreak is the biggest thing our people face,” said Jimmy Dobson with Servpro.
The Wagers decided to shelter in place and are now able to see the damage left behind, but many others didn’t.
“They left and they went to the other side of the state, but they’re gonna come back to their own destruction,” Wager said.