NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- Naperville volunteers who helped with the Hurricane Ian cleanup in the Fort Meyers area are back home and sharing what they saw.
When they arrived there was devastation everywhere. Homes were destroyed, and those who lived in them had nowhere to go.
"Every house is somebody's life. And every house is ruined," said volunteer Michelle DeLuca.
DeLuca and two friends, coworkers at Naperville's Edward Hospital, just returned from eight days of volunteer work helping with the cleanup efforts. The job is still massive.
"People have nothing. Houses were leveled. They lost everything and they were so grateful," Linda Newhouse said.
"The catastrophes were unmeasurable. There were piles and piles of personal items. Toys. Furniture," said Tracy Fabsits.
They worked in the neighborhoods all day and slept at night in a local church. They had to come home to get back to work, but said there is still an enormous amount of work to be done, and it will take years before the area returns to normal.
"It's so sad and heartbreaking. So many of the people are older and have no insurance," DeLuca said.
"People need help. It starts with one person," said Fabsits.
All three women are back at work now. They say the hospital gave them time off for their volunteer work. And they're hoping to go back early next year.