Southwest Florida knows all too well the life-changing destruction of powerful hurricanes. Our neighbors are helping families however they can after Hurricane Laura caused destruction in parts of Louisiana.
It’s the fifth time in three years the Marco Patriots have responded after a hurricane devastated part of the country.
Thursday, Marco Patriots are parts of search and rescue missions, clearing debris, and helping people in any way they can.
Co-founder Matt Melican told us the wind damage is shocking, and it reminds him of what he saw in Panama City after Hurricane Michael.
“Looks like a bomb went off,” Melican said.
Melican was in Lake Charles, Louisiana Thursday morning and shared video he took of destruction Laura left behind.
“We’re seeing a lot of damage to structures, some leveled,” Melican said.
He says you can’t miss the wind damage. It’s everywhere…
Melican’s team from Marco Island is focusing on search and rescue.
“A lot of wellness checks and concerned family members for loved ones that they have not heard from,” Melican said. “Our first call was a gentleman who had chosen to ride out the storm on a house boat in a rural bayou.”
The Marco Patriots checked on four to five people Thursday.
“We can do recon searches of floodwater,” Melican said. “And then we also employ an airboat. I don’t know if you can see it over there Justin.”
Each time, the Marco Patriots are able to ease the anxiety of people who cannot get in touch with loved ones.
“It’s an emotional experience to witness somebody suffer that level of loss,” Melican said.
The level of destruction is what motivates Melican and his team to be present at places in need, helping in any way they can.
“We have an extraordinary group of volunteers that are all civically minded,” Melican said. “We believe in helping humanity. We’re all just very passionate about it.”