NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — It’s been three weeks since Hurricaine Ian hit Florida and the recovery is far from over.

People have been helping out where they can, including local firefighters, who just returned from their mission of mercy.

Firefighters from Smithfield, Foxboro and North Attleboro were among the dozens deployed down to Fort Myers Beach two days after the category four hurricane hit. They recalled a town in ruins.

Lieutenant Scott Maguire of the North Attleboro Fire Department called the devastation “breathtaking.”

“The amount of damage across a widespread area is very challenging,” he said.

The 150-mile-per-hour winds and a foot of rain knocked homes and businesses to the ground, giving the FEMA Task Force firefighters a lot of work. They mainly conducted search and rescues by foot, boat, and with K-9s.

“The total of nine days working down there, it stayed the same,” said Cory Shepardson of the Foxboro Fire Department. “The day we left our operation is when they opened the island back up to residents.

The firefighters said it’s the worst storm damage they’ve ever seen and are grateful they could help.

“It’s a great privilege to be able to represent the town of Smithfield,” Joe Dougherty of the Smithfield Fire Department said. “Whether it’s a structural collapse hurricane or any sort of natural disaster, we are here to help.”

“We were working with local, state, and federal teams and so we were running into local people,” Maguire added. “They would see our IDs and see we’re from Massachusetts and the first thing they would say is ‘thank you.'”

The firefighters returned home to New England last week and were given a couple of days to recover before returning to work at their respective departments.