MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Hurricane Florence is slamming into the outer banks of North Carolina.
Millions throughout the Southeast are under voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders. While the storm has downgraded, the actual size is growing.
Crews in the Mid-South are heading to the Carolinas to help with relief efforts.
Two MLGW crews are tentatively scheduled to leave Saturday for North Carolina to help with clean-up efforts.
Other volunteers are already staged throughout the Southeast, bracing for the impact of the Category 2 storm.
“I am quite excited to be able to go,” said Red Cross volunteer Ron Wiggins. “Disasters come up on short notice and we have to commit for two weeks.”
Wiggins, along with dozens of other American Red Cross of Mid-South volunteers, deployed Thursday morning to Florence, South Carolina, just outside the danger zone.
The volunteers will work in shelters offering food, a place to sleep, and comfort.
“People in need of a friendly face,” Wiggins said. “Someone they can look at and know will help them out. Help them get over the rough spot.”
First responders from across the Volunteer State are staged throughout the Carolinas too, bracing for the storm.
Forty-five first responders including firefighters, doctors, engineers and officers making up Tennessee Task Force One left Tuesday morning--followed by Tennessee’s Type One swift water rescue team Thursday morning from Nashville.
“This is the first time the West Tennessee team has gone, but we have sent teams in the past down to Harvey,” said Germantown Fire Department Assistant Chief Keith Saunders.
The team is made up of six Germantown firefighters along with Millington, Shelby County and Atoka Fire Department staff.
“Our state team is starting to be deployed more,” Saunders said. “The area of Tennessee is kind of a pivot state for both the coast and the gulf.”
Germantown Fire also has an ambulance on stand-by along with two paramedics to help with the disaster response.