MIAMI – Florida Task Force 2 left Miami on Friday night with truckloads of equipment on their way to stage in Alabama where they will prepare to respond to Louisiana. Meteorologists expect Hurricane Ida will make landfall as a dangerous Category 4.
Miami Fire Rescue deployed about 80 members of the Florida Task Force 2, who tested negative for the coronavirus. Many of the veterans are familiar with New Orleans after responding to Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago on Aug. 29, 2005.
The team also includes doctors and structural engineers. They are prepared to be self-sufficient and they are traveling with swift water rescue boats, all-terrain vehicles, generators, fuel, medical equipment, food, and other supplies.
“This one we are predicting a lot of wind, so a lot of debris, trees down, a lot of water and potential for swift water,” said Scott Dean, a task force leader.
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting 7 to 11 feet of water above high tide. The hurricane is also expected to affect the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Gusty storms will impact the Lower Florida Keys this weekend.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell started to order evacuations and asked residents to find shelter by Saturday night.
Dean said they will be able to relocate their staging area if the storm moves west. Miami-Dade County’s Florida Task Force 1 is preparing in Doral and will depart on Saturday.
11 p.m. advisory