CLEVELAND--Hurricane Irma's destruction has been devastating, even deadly, as it makes its way through Florida. Here in Northeast Ohio, the Red Cross has sent volunteers down south to help as much as possible with evacuation shelters and disaster relief.
At the same time, many from this area experienced the impact of this hurricane first hand, whether they have a loved one involved, or have been in Irma's path themselves.
Treveon Wilson, of Painesville, took a trip to St. Martin on September 3rd, and admits he didn't exactly know what he was getting into.
"Just imagine nothing but dust and torn down buildings. The wind was so strong when we were in our hotel room, it sounded like someone was pushing the door open."
Wilson tells Fox 8 the experience was scary and humbling.
"I'm from Cleveland, I just blew it off, as a little wind, a little rain, and I underestimated a hurricane by a long shot."
Thankfully Wilson was able to make it onto a private jet to Curaçao and get in touch with family and friends who were frantically sharing pictures of him on social media.
"It made me realize and appreciate the small things. We went three days without electricity, the island ran out of water, every store was sold out of water."
The need is so great after devastation like this, and as Hurricane Irma makes its way through Florida, the young man is concerned about the people there.
Thankfully, help is on the ground with organizations like the Red Cross sending volunteers, including several from Northeast Ohio.
"Nine got into Florida before the storm hit and eight more have now been prepositioned in Georgia as the storm is expected to move northward," said Jim McIntyre, Communications Manager of the Northeast Ohio Region of the American Red Cross.
Many of those Red Cross volunteers hopped on an airplane at CLE Hopkins International Airport to get to Florida right away to provide disaster relief and set up evacuation shelters.
"These are people who don't get paid anything. They are volunteers who are willing to give up two weeks of their lives...help others who are in need," McIntyre said.
The goal is for the hurricane victims to feel at home again, and Treveon Wilson will tell you, that is one experience he can't wait to have.
"I cannot wait to back to Cleveland, Ohio - can't wait to see my family, see my friends, see my loved ones."