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'That area’s never gonna be the same': Houston’s CrowdSource Rescue helping Florida after Ian

People from all over the country pitched in to help Houston recover after Hurricane Harvey caused devastating flooding. Now it's our turn to give back.
Credit: AP
In this photo provided by the Orange County Fire Rescue's Public Information Office, firefighters in Orange County, Fla., help people stranded by Hurricane Ian early Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. Hurricane Ian marched across central Florida on Thursday as a tropical storm after battering the state’s southwest coast, dropping heavy rains that caused flooding and led to inland rescues and evacuations. (Orange County Fire Rescue's Public Information Office via AP)

HOUSTON — A group of volunteers from Houston who were brought together by Hurricane Harvey are on the ground in Florida to help hurricane victims.

CrowdSource Rescue is helping people in the hardest-hit areas where Hurricane Ian caused catastrophic flooding.

“Obviously, that area’s never gonna be the same for years,” Co-founder Matthew Marchetti said. “As of this morning, we’re even not quite sure the full extent of the damage there.”

Throughout the Wednesday evening and overnight, CrowdSource Rescue tweeted photos from the front lines while working through a backlog of requests for rescues and wellness checks.

“There’s huge surge amounts. I mean, 15 to 25 feet. Just massive surges, with people in the second floor and third floor and in the attics of their houses," Marchetti said. "So, it’s working along first responders to pull some of those folks out of their houses.”

Volunteers even stopped to rescue a frightened dog. 

Marchetti said his volunteers are out again Thursday, the day after Hurricane Ian made landfall near Fort Myers.

They're also working to clear roads in the drier areas.

“Both for other crews to come in, but more importantly, for first responders to come in, for the power company to come in so that we can try and get some of these areas back,” Marchetti explained.

Anyone needing to be rescued can go to crowdsourcerescue.org/hurricanes.

People wanting to volunteer or donate to CrowdSource Rescue can do so through the nonprofit’s website.

“They are gonna need a tremendous amount of support,” Marchetti said.

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