LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Only Wink cameras were at Southwest Florida International Sunday afternoon as a Lee County man boarded a flight and headed west to flood ravaged Colorado.
77-year old Red Cross volunteer, Richard Nye says he is bringing a unique perspective to recovery efforts along the Rockies.
"We are kinda special down here in Florida because we've dealt with so many hurricanes. They usually don't let us leave the state this time of year," Nye said.
Nye says as soon as he saw the devastating images out of Colorado, he knew he had to help.
"I called human resources right away and said, 'I'm available!' It's really really rewarding. We're not paid. We work hard, long hours, 70-80 hour weeks."
Last week, heavy rains and flash flooding left roads underwater and towns cut off from emergency responders.
"They are having to use helicopters. We'll be using National Guard to finish up part of our distribution cuz we can't get there," he said.
The waters are receding but access to some communities remains difficult.
Nye says he remembers what fast-moving water can do.
"Irene a couple of years ago went through and I got into that, big boulders washed out through the towns, roads washed out, bridges washed out," he said.
As areas begin to re-open, the Red Cross will be there to assess the damage, distribute relief supplies and support a recovery effort that will take weeks and months.
Nye says the weeks he spends helping people get back on their feet is always worth the effort.
"There is such a big reward, seeing people with a smile on their face," he said.
According to government officials, the number of people unaccounted for dropped to around 60 thanks to door-to-door searches and restored communications. Seven people died and three others are missing.
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