WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — Parts of Florida will be recovering from Hurricane Idalia for a while and a crew from central Ohio is already there helping.

The storm hit Florida as a hurricane and is now a tropical storm. Statewide, hundreds of thousands of people lost power. A team from the Westerville Electric Division (WED) is helping get the lights back on.

“People’s lives are devastated during these hurricanes and to be able to go help them, try to get some of their life back to normal is great,” said Todd Head, Electrical Field Superintendent with WED.

He’s been on several trips like this before, helping other parts of the country impacted by severe weather. He said the team there will be working 16-hour days, if not longer.

“To see some of the devastation, it’s amazing. You wouldn’t really understand it unless you’ve seen it,” he said.

WED was contacted Sunday by American Municipal Power Ohio about sending a team to Florida. Four lineworkers were sent and had been staging in the Tallahassee area. Head said the hotel the crew was staying in lost power overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. The team got to work restoring power in the Tallahassee area Wednesday morning.

“You know what it’s like being without electric; it’s terrible, it’s just miserable, and then on top of that, you have the flooding and the heat and all the rest they have to deal with, rebuilding and such, so we’re happy to be able to go help,” Head said.

How long the WED team will be in Florida has not been determined. Annie Yates, an Ohio native, lives about three hours south of where the WED crew is.

“You could really hear the wind just whipping outside of the house,” Yates said. “It gets really loud so it sounds like you’re just in this giant wind tunnel and then the rain comes down. It hits much harder than what a normal rainstorm would, so it’s like a loud roar when the winds start coming through.”

Yates lives outside of Crystal River, an area hit hard by flooding from Idalia.

“Damage to places like that really impacts our economy because it takes away livelihood from a lot of the locals,” she said.