KEY WEST, Fla. (NEWS10) — A Key West distillery owner created the effort “Conch Love” to fundraise for uninsured families devastated by the storm surge brought on by Hurricane Ian.

The storm wasn’t a direct hit on the island. However, according to the National Weather Service, the storm surge was one of the most severe on record for Key West.

Amid the storm, winds tore trees out by the roots. An electrical fire broke out in apartments above a shopping complex, displacing around 40 residents. The Navy also evacuated 61 residents from base housing at the Naval Air Station.

The storm surge after the storm flooded over 100 homes on the Southernmost part of the island, especially Bahama village. Many have returned to salt water damage and are picking up the pieces of ruined furniture.

Paul Menta is the owner of Key West First Legal Rum Distillery. He’s determined to fundraise for those who need furniture, bedding, and repairs to get back on their feet. Menta named his mission “Conch Love” and created a GoFundMe page that raised nearly $7,000 in one day.

“Being a Conch means that you’re as strong as that shell, and you’re willing to help out,” Menta said. “We might move slow, but we get everything done, and that’s what’s going to happen regardless in these situations.”

Key West is almost 140 miles from the mainland. Menta said locals are used to taking care of their own. Although he knows the hardest hit locations in Florida—like Naples, Sanibel, and Cape Coral—need the most immediate assistance, he hopes people won’t forget about the people of Key West.

Commercial air service resumed on Thursday at Key West International Airport. Many bars, restaurants, and local businesses have also opened their doors to customers and are eager for visitors to return.