Hurricane Florence's threat draws first responders from many states to NC

Anthony Wilson Image
Thursday, September 13, 2018
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First responders from all over the country coming to assist in relief efforts

GARNER, N.C. (WTVD) -- As Hurricane Florence approaches the North Carolina coast, nearly one thousand out-of-state first responders have come to help.

The trucks, cars and vans look vaguely familiar, since they're manned emergency workers, EMS personnel and other first responders.

Some names, like Lee County, also ring a bell. But on this day, it's a crew from Lee County, Florida in a Garner taking area, with nearly one thousand more eager workers from out of state.

They're all in North Carolina for one of the biggest challenges of their career, helping people in the path of Hurricane Florence.

Downloading the ABC11 app is the best way to stay up-to-date on the latest conditions from Hurricane Florence

Jon Strong, a swift water rescuer from New Hampshire, told ABC11, "We're gonna be here maybe 14 days. We have 5 trucks, we have 5 boats and 14 personnel."

Strong learned quickly about the need for an adjustment period when you usually work in New England but find yourself in the South for a few weeks.

"It's very humid down here," he said, chuckling. "It's hot today."

His team and several others already have assignments, and rolled out of the parking lot to the counties that will feel Florence's power first.


"Some of them will be helping out with evacuations from nursing homes, places like that," said public information officer Brian Haines of the North Carolina Park Service. "That's why you see a lot of ambulances here."

"We have enough gear to handle pretty much everything we're gonna accomplish," Strong told us.

They'll have plenty to do as Florence churns through the Atlantic, ever closer to our coastline and driving rough weather ahead to inland counties.