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Hurricane task force heads to North Carolina

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A team of first responders from the East Bay traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina Monday night in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

The Category 4 storm is forecast to hit the East Coast along portions of the South Carolina and North Carolina coastlines Friday.

CA-Task Force 4 is made up of 16 team members from 18 different East Bay fire agencies. The team, which is expected to stay the maximum 21 days of deployment in Raleigh, was sent to aid in any necessary water rescue and flooding emergencies.

Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Robert Lipp, who serves as the urban search and rescue coordinator for the task force, said:

“It’s impossible to tell what will happen.”

He said they’re expecting significant rainfall and flooding which will require search and rescue missions, medical care and more.

This is the second time the task force has been deployed. They are part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Mission Ready Packages, teams that are organized, developed and trained for emergency and disaster relief.

Lipp said of the task force deployment:

“It makes us more nimble and flexible.”

Last year, the task force traveled to help in recovery efforts after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

State and local officials have declared states of emergency in Virginia, North and South Carolina. Federal aid is being made available to North Carolina and South Carolina.

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