Tennessee Task Force stages in Bristol, VA ahead of Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is deploying search and rescue teams to assist in the aftermath of the storm.

Task Force Leader Thomas Beasley with Tennessee Task Force 1 said his team drove from Memphis to Bristol, Virginia Tuesday.

“Currently we brought with us 45 members and that includes the leadership team, we have rescue specialists that are trained in water rescue, structure collapse, search and rescue,” Beasley said.

Beasley said his team is one of 28 teams deployed by FEMA to assist in Hurricane Florence relief.

“We’re still in the staging pattern and waiting for the storm to hit, and allow Virginia the opportunity to assess what the damages could be and then we may move forward from there,” Beasley said.

With 14 trucks, ATVs and rescue boats – Phillip Dicks with Tennessee Task Force 1 said they are prepared for heavy rainfall.

He said they are ready to assist the first responders in the areas impacted the most by the storm.

“Most of the time when we’re called they’re overwhelmed, we have assessed, trained people to search wide areas in a short amount of time and to get feedback to those people, how their civilians are doing, what they’re conditions are,” Dicks said.

Beasley said his team is still in a holding pattern, waiting for the storm to pass. 

He said once the storm hits, they will asses the damage in Virginia first and then decide if the Carolinas need more help.

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