Bedford firefighter on Ohio Task Force 1 in Florida says devastation is worst his team has ever seen

One of the videos the team posted shows a dog that was discovered tied to a chain amidst trees and branches.

Bedford firefighter on Ohio Task Force 1 in Florida says devastation is worst his team has ever seen

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Lieutenant Brian Harting is one of 16 team members from Ohio Task Force 1, a water rescue team from Ohio, that’s helping FEMA with ground search work in Florida.

“It’s just total devastation the entire time. It’s very widespread,” said Harting, who is a Bedford firefighter.

The team has been posting videos and pictures on their Facebook page.

On Sunday, the team was heading to Marianna, Fla., believed to be one of the hardest hit by Hurricane Michael.

One of the videos the team posted shows a dog that was discovered tied to a chain amidst trees and branches.

Posted by Ohio Task Force 1 on Saturday, October 13, 2018

Another video shows trees and powerlines down on the roadways everywhere.

A good video on how road conditions look

Posted by Ohio Task Force 1 on Saturday, October 13, 2018

In just one day, the Ohio Task Force 1 team was able to check close to 1,000 remaining structures looking for signs of life.

"We were at an apartment building the other day, and the entire roof was blown off the place. Out of nowhere, a guy stuck his head out of the second floor, and he’s like, ‘I got nowhere to go.’ We made the connection to get him evacuated to a shelter,” said Harting.

Harting says that people appear to still be in a state of shock.

"A lot of the people don't understand the scope of the incident because they just - they are barely able to make it out of their neighborhood or their house," added Harting.

The scope of the devastation is unlike anything anyone on Ohio Task Force 1 has seen before after a hurricane.

“This is totally different for me, and you know - just going by the experience of our team - we got some very experienced team members - been on the team for 20 years and a number of hurricanes, and they’ve have all said this is, by far, the worst that they’ve seen, and not by a little, but by a very large margin,” said Harting.

Harting’s team will continue looking for signs of life and helping the people that they find over the next three days or longer, if they are needed.

“We just have to really show compassion and try to work with the locals and provide them access to resources that they are not going to be able to have for awhile,” said Harting.

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