Home Camping & Hiking A number of retailer parking tons in North Port have staff tenting...

A number of retailer parking tons in North Port have staff tenting out and others serving to


NORTH PORT, Fla. (WWSB) – Store lots in North Port appear to be a popular spot for volunteers to camp out and provide assistance. The Georgia Salvation Army at various locations including the Super Walmart on the Tamiami Trail. Between lunch and dinner, 500 hot meals are served here every day.

“I can’t imagine what these people are going through, and a lot of times people come here and see what we’re doing,” said Captain Tim Blevins of the Salvation Army of Georgia. “They just burst into tears, they express their gratitude and we are so grateful that we can serve.”

This is so helpful for people who have been through so much.

RVs and RVs can also be seen in many of these parking lots. Many workers and helpers stayed there after the hurricane.

“When you come out, try to find a place to park your RV,” said Dennis Misuraca, a worker who camps in the Publix parking lot. “Kind of a homestead while you clean up the town because there’s no designated place for you.”

It is up to the store or property owner to allow these workers to camp overnight. Many of them are here from all over the country to clear up debris.

“It’s very important, without us being here, we would be out in the woods and being eaten by mosquitoes,” Misuraca said. “When you’re waiting for an incoming call in emergency situations, cell phones often don’t work, so communication is key. Everyone grouped in a center zone is really the most important thing.”

Workers say they could camp in these lots for a few more weeks while the cleanup continues.

The Salvation Army distributes hot meals each day at the Super Walmart in North Port. Lunch is served from 11:30am to 1:30pm, while dinner is served from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.