Kentucky Firefighters Head To Coast To Aid Hurricane Relief

Sep 13, 2018

Credit Associated Press

Swiftwater search and rescue teams from Kentucky are heading to North Carolina to help rescue people once Hurricane Florence hits the east coast.

Two dozen firefighters from Louisville and Jefferson County left Frankfort shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday. They will stay in Raleigh, North Carolina, while Hurricane Florence makes landfall. After that, they will be deployed to rescue people from anticipated flooding. "They are going to do what neighbors do and neighbors take care of each other," Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said. "It is important, it really is, to appreciate what it looks like when states take care of one another."

The National Hurricane Center estimates the storm will lash the North Carolina and South Carolina coasts beginning Friday morning. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour, making it a category 3 hurricane.

The storm is projected to meander its way through South Carolina and impact eastern Kentucky as early as Sunday night. The region has been pelted by heavy rain in recent weeks, leading to flash flooding that swept a child away in Morehead, Kentucky. Volunteers are still searching for the child. "We're going to get a little piece of rain in eastern Kentucky were we absolutely do not need more rain," Kentucky Emergency Management Director Mike Dossett said.

That's why Dossett said the teams Kentucky is sending to the east coast are from western Kentucky counties. He wants to keep eastern Kentucky's emergency workers in place just in case Kentucky has more flooding from Florence. "Flash flooding is a guarantee. It's going to happen," Dossett said. "We are protecting the state by retaining all of our response capabilities in eastern Kentucky."