NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - A Bay Area tree company packed up and headed to North Caroline to help with the devastation left behind by Hurricane Florence.
Pecker Heads Tree & Environmental is based out of New Port Richey. The employees and contracted workers all left behind their families and lives in the Bay Area to help people dealing with destruction from the storm.
A caravan of about 50 workers, equipment, and supplies hit the road last Thursday. Once the hurricane made landfall, the crews headed straight towards the damage.
They ended up near Wilmington, North Carolina, helping any way they could.
"You’ve got roads that are washing out, you’ve got rivers that are breaching, so it's very dangerous, it's very stressful, but you just want to go out and help who you can help,” said Ty Thomas, operations manager with Pecker Heads Tree & Environmental.
Some of the fleet handed out food and water, while another crew took their airboat to aid folks dealing with flooding.
They spent about five days rubbing elbows with groups from all across the country hoping to make a difference to people in need.
“It was absolute, total destruction,” Thomas said. “I mean million dollar homes to thousand dollar homes, everything is destroyed."
Wednesday, the group was finally able to get their equipment into some neighborhoods to do hired work.
"Today we were tarping roofs, boarding up houses, removing trees," explained Julian Colson, Owner of Pecker Heads Tree & Environmental.
The group expects to stay in North Carolina for a few weeks up to a few months.
It turns out, this isn’t the first time the company has chased a major storm to help with relief efforts. Crews headed to Texas after Hurricane Harvey, sent funds to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and were on hand here in the Sunshine state after Hurricane Irma battered the coast.
Colson says it’s tough but rewarding work.
"Before we make a buck, we try to help out as many people as we can, and then after we do that we try to recover some of our costs, you know, to make it all make sense,” he said. “Because at the end of the day we need to help as many people as possible."