(WIVB) — Hundreds of volunteers are in Florida right now to help with recovery efforts, that includes Western New Yorkers working with the group Eight Days of Hope.

Steve Tybor and his team of volunteers are located just south of Sarasota, and in Fort Myers, Florida.

“We’ve been doing this for 17 years and every storm is similar in some ways and different in other ways,” Tybor said. “What’s similar with this storm is people are in shock. I mean they have now started to come back to their homes, and they’re not there, or they’re destroyed.”

He says they’re seeing knocked over fences, downed trees and roofs torn off people’s homes.
They’re also seeing a lot of flood damage, and homeowners have had to throw out their belongings that are now ruined.

“These homes had six feet of water,” Tybor said. “There’s a lot to be done.”

Eight Days of Hope has a team of volunteers from all over the country, including a few volunteers locally from Buffalo, Batavia and Orchard Park.

The American Red Cross is also lending a hand. Andrew Loeb is one of their volunteers from Western New York. He’s in Fort Myers helping at a shelter.

“Seeing what the hurricane did, it doesn’t surprise me the number of people that need help,” Loeb said. “I haven’t had a chance to see where the homes got hit by the hurricane, but just looking at the people here, I can tell that it’s pretty devastating.”

Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.