FLORIDA (ABC4) – Hurricane Ian devastated parts of Florida, so Utahns volunteered to help with the damage.  

Volunteers Dave and Bonnie Kenison said being retired means they’re able to go out and help people in need, and Ian is no exception. 

“We just felt the need to give back,” Bonnie said, “it just warms our heart to help those in need.” 

Dave and Bonnie are from Orem, but for the next two weeks they’ll be in Florida volunteering for the Red Cross. 

They were placed at an elementary school that’s been turned into a hurricane shelter in Crescent City. 

“People need to be out of their homes, they’re not sure what’s happening to their homes they just need to be in a safe place,” Dave said. 

They said during hurricanes, people don’t know how hard their home gets hit until conditions die down. 

“People who live in low lying areas may or may not have severe damage, they don’t know exactly where the storm is coming and how it’s hitting them. But the uncertainty, the concern is certainly a factor and we try to encourage people and give the emotional support where we can,” Dave said. 

The Kenisons said the winds died down in their area, but they still saw flooding and storms that caused issues. 

“We’ve had reports of trees down, branches down, things like that, that have affected the power,” Bonnie said. 

Despite the chaos the hurricane has caused, the Kenisons said they’ve seen the community come together to help their neighbors. They said the sheriff’s office saved a man’s sinking houseboat and a young man save an elderly woman who couldn’t leave her house alone.  

“It brings out the best in people, at times like this, and we love seeing that too. To see people just want to go do and want to help people when there’s a need,” Dave said.