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Clay County officials head for Lee County to help with Hurricane Ian recovery

Eighteen officers and three 911 operators are heading south to help with the devastation from Hurricane Ian.

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. — In Clay County, people are breathing a sigh of relief. Flooding there was not nearly as bad as expected from Hurricane Ian, which hit the first coast as Tropical Storm Ian. 

Now Clay County officers are answering the call to help in Southwest Florida, the area most devastated by Hurricane Ian.

Clay County Sheriff’s Office is providing help in Lee County by sending 18 officers and three 911 operators. 

They are heading into the unknown. 

”You know, there is a little apprehension because they don’t know what they’re headed to, but there is also that willingness to go serve," said Assistant Chief Scott Moreland. "So they’re wanting to get started so they can get down there and make a difference.”

Moreland oversees most of the officers in the group that is leaving. He knows they're ready.

He says some have more than 35 years experience in law enforcement and others have done these types of missions before.

But for a few, he says this mission is personal.

RELATED: Video: Downtown Ft. Myers flooded after impacts of Hurricane Ian

"Some of the members of our agency actually heading to Lee County have family members who reside in that area so it is a little personal for them," Moreland explained. "They’re concerned about their own family members and want to go down there and make a difference and help out in that community as well.”

He says some haven't been able to make contact with their family to ensure that they are safe. 

"I do know speaking to one of them that he has not heard from his family,' Moreland explained. 

There is a lot on their mind during the 4.5 hour drive with at least a week long deployment ahead of them.

The parting words on the chilly Friday morning were 'be safe and do God’s work'.

RELATED: Local Weather: Ian pulls away from the First Coast, cooler breezy conditions expected Friday in its wake.

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