FT MYERS BEACH, FL – Ground Zero. This is the area most devastated in the path of Hurricane Yang.

Officials focused on Ft. Myers Beach and first responders, who had finished their work in other areas affected by the hurricane, focused on the island because the need is so great.

The sound of ambulances replaced the roar of waves and laughter in nearby restaurants and bars.

When asked what he felt when he looked at the damage, Steve Griffin said, “Sickness.”

The loss at Ft. Myers Beach is indescribable, and finding words to describe the feeling of strolling the nearby streets is incredibly difficult. Perhaps even more difficult to understand is what a storm surge is.

“You see a lot of things on TV and think, ‘Ah, that’s TV.’ See it in real life,” Griffin said. “People died down there. People we know have died because we couldn’t get them into the rafters. The guy couldn’t pull it up, it was too heavy and he died.”

ABC Action News reporter Heather Lee and photojournalist Michael Brantley found Steve Griffin and his wife Diana riding their bikes on what was left of Esther Boulevard.

“What should we do now?” Griffin asked. “The hurricane we got, but what do we do now?”

The first step is search and rescue to find people who are still alive.

“We arrived here at Fort Myers Beach on Wednesday at 10 p.m.,” said South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Group 2 spokesman Capt. Ignatius Carroll.

In the first 48 hours, crews found 1,000 people, and 200 of them wanted to leave the island immediately. Others who chose to stay are now wavering about the decision.

“They understand that after 72 hours you have no food, no water, you’ve exhausted your supplies, and there’s no infrastructure, no stores open to replenish them and stay on the island,” Capt. Carroll said.

Of course, another part of the mission is to find people who didn’t make it.

“The worst thing is that people are losing their lives,” said Taskforce 2 heavy equipment and rigging specialist Scott Bain. “You can’t do anything worse than that.”

The reality is that combing through trash on an island over 6 miles long is difficult and time-consuming.

Houses are destroyed and some are leveled. Trees and cars are everywhere.

Many of the houses still standing are structurally unsafe. Bain told us that their team consists of civil engineers who identify areas that are safe to search.

“They are trained in this area, they help us make a decision to mitigate it to allow us to enter, or we say it is prohibited, we cannot look for a structure because we have to make sure that we are safe enough to help others,” he said.

Griffin and his wife told us they were going to stay, even though lifeguards said it was best to leave.

“On the one hand, we live here. Second, our resources are limited. We don’t have the resources of everyone else,” Griffin said. “We have what we have. This is our home and we will stay in our home until they say you physically have to go.’

Figuring out what happens next won’t be easy, but rescuers say the city needs to stabilize first. This is a process they are working on around the clock.