ENGLEWOOD, Fla. — The Florida Army National Guard is delivering food, water, and tarps to neighborhoods in Southwest Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Tuesday, Fox 4 followed a team as it left the Charlotte Sports Park in Englewood, Florida. The National Guard is using the facility as a distribution and staging site.
The team pinpointed a manufactured home community which suffered significant damage from Ian. Soldiers in a truck full of supplies creeped slowly through the debris-covered streets as other team members walked door to door asking homeowners what they needed.
“I’ve been through hurricanes before, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” admitted Specialist Omari Jackson. “There’s a lot of damage and it’s really, really something different to see how quickly someone’s life can change.”
Jackson said he joined the National Guard because he wanted to make a difference, instead of hoping someone else would do the job.
“Just that tarp or that case of water, it really changes their whole day,” Jackson said.
Receiving a brand new tarp did make Aaron Hufnagel’s day better. Ian ripped off his home’s roof. He needed one more tarp to patch the hole.
“The generosity around here has been great. The people have been great,” Hufnagel said.
The leader of this group of National Guard members says hearing stories from Hufnagel and simply seeing waves along the road makes the job worthwhile.
“It feels great, it puts a smile on my face helping everybody out. You see their eyes light up with a little bit of hope when they see us coming. They’re really grateful,” explained Sergeant Barry Copeland.
The National Guard will continue to operate distribution sites and make deliveries to hard hit neighborhoods for the foreseeable future. National Guard point of distribution centers are at the following locations:
- DeSoto County Department of Emergency Management 2200 Northeast Roan Street Arcadia, FL 34266
- Nocatee Elementary School 4846 SW Shores Arcadia, FL 34266
- Save A Lot1325 E. Oak Street Arcadia, FL 34266
- Old Bonita Springs Library 26876 Pine Ave. Bonita Springs, FL 34135
- Kelly Road Soccer Complex 10750 Kelly Road Fort Myers, FL 33908
- Cape Coral Sports Complex 1410 Sports Blvd. Cape Coral, FL 33991
- Cape Coral Leonard Street 4820 Leonard Street Cape Coral, FL 33904
- Estero High School Ballfield Park 9100 Williams Road Estero, FL 33928
- North Fort Myers Rec Center 2000 N. Recreation Park Way North Fort Myers, FL 33903
- Fleamasters Fleamarket 4135 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Fort Myers, FL 33916
- Veterans Park Rec Center 55 Homestead Road S. Leigh Acres, FL 33938
- Muscle Car City 10175 Tamiami Trail Punta Gorda, FL 33950
- Charlotte Sports Park 2300 El Jobean Rd Port Charlotte, FL 33948
- Ann Dever Memorial Regional Park 6791 San Casa Dr. Englewood, FL 34224
- Collier County Emergency Management 8075 Lely Cultural Parkway Naples, FL 34113
- Sugden Regional Park 4284 Avalon Dr. Naples, FL 34112
- Everglades City Administrative Office 102 Copeland Ave. Everglades City, FL 34139
- Barron Collier High School 5600 Cougar Drive Naples, FL 34109