Nearly a hundred Louisiana emergency personnel are headed north to the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence bears down on the coastline.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness announced the deployment Tuesday.
The teams being deployed include a four-person, emergency operations center support team from New Orleans assisting North Carolina. The Office of the State Fire Marshal is sending a swift water rescue team and an urban search and rescue team to South Carolina.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — As mandatory evacuations begin for parts of three East Coast states, millions of Americans have been preparing for what c…
“Louisiana has received an outpouring of assistance for our emergencies in the past. So the call to return the favor to South Carolina now is a very important one for us to answer," Fire Marshal Butch Browning said in a news release. "We hope to be as great an impact to our friends in South Carolina as others have been to us in our times of need.”
Members of the New Orleans Fire Department and New Orleans Emergency Medical Services will also assist with swift-water rescue operations, according to a city press release.
“While we monitor the Gulf for our own safety at this height of hurricane season, we also reach out to assist others,” said Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. “We know this assistance is vital to the response and eventual recovery of the areas that will be affected by Florence.”
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Cajun Navy members are also expected to be in the affected areas providing aid where possible. A Facebook post Sunday said there were two "divisions" preparing to respond.
Hurricane Florence, one of three systems churning in the Atlantic Ocean, is projected to hit the coast of the Carolinas as a major hurricane.
Its top winds dipped to 130 mph Tuesday morning, but it remains a Category 4 storm and is expected to approach Category 5 status as it strengthens over very warm ocean water off the coast of North and South Carolina.
The center of the massive storm is then forecast to meander Thursday, Friday and Saturday over a stretch of coastline saturated by rising seas, inundating several states with rainfall and triggering life-threatening floods.
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South Carolina's governor ordered the state's entire coastline evacuated starting at noon Tuesday and predicted that 1 million people would flee as highways reverse directions. Virginia's governor ordered a mandatory evacuation for some residents of low-lying coastal areas, while some coastal counties in North Carolina have done the same.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said his state is "in the bullseye" and urged people to "get ready now."
Florence could hit the Carolinas harder than any hurricane since Hazel packed 130-mph winds in 1954.