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Red Cross volunteers helping to provide hurricane relief to Florida residents

Damaged homes and debris are shown in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee
/
AP
Damaged homes and debris are shown in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla.

As Ian exits Florida as a tropical storm, volunteers from the American Red Cross are working to help residents clean up and recover.

Regional Mass Care and Logistics Manager Rene Beezley spoke it to reporters in a crowded room of emergency response volunteers.

Beezley, who is serving as the deputy assistant director of response, said crews are moving from evacuating residents to getting them into recovery shelters around the state.

"Now we can get out on the streets we can start to get our emergency response vehicles," Beezley explained. "Then all of our shelters that were evacuation shelters, if people weren't affected in those evacuation shelters now, we're transitioning them to the southern locations that need to become recovery shelters."

Beezley described the devastation from Ian's impact as four times worse than when Hurricane Charley that hit Florida as a Category 4 storm in 2004.

"It's big," Beezley began. "It's a lot bigger than we thought it would be and the path was a lot bigger than the largest hurricane that had ever hit."

Emergency responders said they're currently working to shelter around 32,000 people within the next 42 to 72 hours.

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.