CHICAGO (WLS) -- Attempts to rebuild seem insurmountable in some areas of Florida after Hurricane Ian ravaged the state.
Those with Chicago connections are among many acknowledging the cleanup will take time.
Former Wilmette resident, Rob Paddor, safely evacuated but is eager to get back to do repairs on his Sanibel Island home.
"We are all coming back. There's no doubt in our mind and God willing, we got hit once and we won't see it until after I'm dead and gone," Paddor said.
For others, returning is not possible now.
Theresa Bush shared some of her photos with ABC7.
She's worked for CNA Insurance in Chicago for 30 years but lives in Winter Springs, Florida.
She said Wednesday is the last day for her to get anything out before the house is condemned.
"Anything that was touched by the water is contaminated. You can't take that," Bush said. "If anything was high up in the closet, you might be able to salvage it."
Bush said she and her family are staying in a hotel room that a friend donated.
"It's devastating. You walk in and everything you've worked for is gone," Bush added.
Amid the devastation, people are offering what they can to help.
Brian McDaniel with the Red Cross of River Valley out of Romeoville is part of a team getting food and water to residents.
"It's an incredibly emotional moment for you when you walk in and there are young people and children who are suffering," McDaniel said. "You want to do everything you can."
ABC7 talked with McDaniel and Chuck Massaro from Wheaton as they prepared to take out more supplies.
"We were working with a gentleman [Tuesday] who was suffering and when he realized how far we had come, he broke down in tears and, you know, that gets emotion from you too," McDaniel said.
The Red Cross is also sending teams to assist with the physical and mental health of those trying to recover.