God’s Pit Crew heads to Florida in wake of Hurricane Ian

The crew will be there until at least Oct. 16

The crew will be there until at least Oct. 16

A local organization is finding ways to make a difference in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

“The ability to be an answer to someone’s prayers, that’s pretty powerful,” said Chris Chiles, God’s Pit Crew immediate response director.

Even after years of cleaning up disasters, Chiles said that some things never get easier.

“One thing that never changes is seeing the looks in people’s eyes that have just lost everything,” Chiles said. “You can’t get scabbed over to that.”

Chiles and his crew are currently in Florida, helping residents with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

“Once we got within about an hour from our location you could see all the roofs ripped off and the trees down, all the lights were off,” Chiles said.

They set up at a local church where residents can come to look for help.

“We’ve got families coming to the church,” Chiles said. “The word’s gotten out that they can come here and ask for assistance.”

Crews prioritize needs by labeling a situation as either one, two or three.

“One is there’s no way this family could recover without our assistance,” he said. “So that’s the people that we’re helping first. That’s elderly, disabled, terminal illness. These folks have nowhere else to turn.”

They are finding that flooded homes and downed trees are some of the most common problems people are dealing with.

“They might have a tree on top of their home, or their home flooded,” Chiles said. “So, our volunteers starting tomorrow will be mucking out homes. That is cutting out sheetrock and all the furniture and all of that stuff. They’ll get it out and they’ll get it to the curb.”

Chiles said that helping those affected by Ian brings them great satisfaction.

“People are praying, ‘Lord, please send someone to help me.’ I pointed to each one of them and said, ‘You are who the Lord is using,’” Chiles said. “I don’t think there’s anything more fulfilling in life than to be the answer to someone’s prayers.”

Crews will remain in the area through October 16 and may stay longer if they are still needed.

About the Author:

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.