Tennessee Task Force 1 ready to lend aid to Florence victims

Tennessee Task Force 1 ready to lend aid to Florence victims

BRISTOL, VA (WMC) - Florence continues to inch along after making landfall Friday morning in North Carolina.

The storm has trapped people inside flooded homes, and days of destruction still lie ahead.

Several Mid-South volunteers and first responders are on the East Coast prepared to help in any way they can.

Tennessee Task Force One is staged and ready to help with search and rescue missions on land and in the water in Virginia.

At the moment, it's a wait and see game for the team monitoring this powerful storm as it moves across the country.

“Because the storm took a much southern route, we are well out of the harm’s way,” said TNTF1 Chief Thomas Beasley.

Tennessee Task Force One deployed Tuesday ahead of the storm at the request of the state of Virginia.

Forty-five first responders are on the team including firefighters, doctors, engineers and officers. For now, they are staged in Bristol, Virginia.

“In the time we’ve been here, we’ve been able to do several exercises and training specific what we would anticipate for the mission,” Chief Thomas said.

The daily training continues for the task force. On Friday, the team practiced large search exercises and worked the K-9s, ensuring everyone is ready to go when they are called into action.

“We are assigned to the state of Virginia and until the leadership team of Virginia allows to work or be released to a different area that’s where we’ll be in staging and waiting for orders from them,” Chief Beasley said.

They’re ready for the storm’s impact and her aftermath as it looks like it may take a northern path.

A return date for the task force remains up in the air depending on how the team is needed.

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