Red Cross volunteers return to Omaha after helping with Hurricane Ian relief

It has been 26 days since Hurricane Ian swept ashore in southwest Florida.
Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 5:49 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Red Cross volunteers Pat Shields and Cindy Brinker just returned to Omaha last week from Naples, Florida.

They spent two weeks, working about 15 hours a day, giving meals and comfort to people who have lost so much.

Cindy took pictures of the wreckage and debris, as Hurricane Ian absolutely decimated and obliterated mobile home parks.

All sorts of twisted metal and rubble in the street. People who did not have a lot to begin with now left with almost nothing.

”We were assigned to primarily underserved Hispanic communities that had been damaged by the storm via a four-foot surge of water so they were dealing with a loss of all their possessions,” said Pat Shields. “Food is the universal language so we were serving them hot meals so they didn’t have to worry about where their next meal was coming from.”

”I remember the kids and looking at all of their possessions, their mattresses, refrigerators, their stoves they had nothing left,” said Cindy Brinker. “I would like viewers to know that these folks are going to be dealing with this for a long, long time, please, please don’t forget them. "

Both volunteers say they are worried about all the water damage and mold that is growing on what’s left.

They called their experience exhausting and rewarding.