Before Ian made landfall on Florida's southwest coast Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, more than 2.5 million people had been told to evacuate. By midday Thursday, 1.5 million were without power, and fires, flooding, and wind damage had razed entire blocks of houses down to their slabs. CNN is calling it "a 500-year flood event."
Steve Tybor of Eight Days of Hope tells AFN he is always shocked when he first arrives on the scene of a disaster, but he says this one promises to be at a whole different level.
"When you see something like Hurricane Ian, and you see the damage in the pictures [and] in the videos. And then when you show up for the first time to unload your equipment, it always just sets you back a step," he accounts. "It's overwhelming."
But Tybor knows that his shock is nothing compared to what the families who lose homes – or worse – are left to deal with.
"A lot of these families, when they get home this weekend or early next week, they're going to be in shock," he says. "They're going to be in disbelief that everything they worked for is either gone or severely damaged."
As his ministry prepares to deploy to Florida and set up just south of Sarasota, he asks for prayer for the leaders, the volunteers, and for the survivors. He says the plan is to take things one day at a time.
"It's been 100 years since a disaster of this size has hit [Florida's] west coast, and right now, this is the time for the Church to step up and shine," Tybor submits.
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