Virginia crews deploy to Florida ahead of Hurricane Ian

Virginia Task Force One and the American Red Cross are preparing to help with relief efforts

10 News reporter McKinley Strother talks with crews in Virginia prepping for the storm, and explains relief efforts

ROANOKE, Va. – Hundreds of miles away, crews in Virginia are preparing to deploy to Florida ahead of Hurricane Ian’s landfall.

Virginia Task Force One, a 45-member team with FEMA backing, left Northern Virginia Monday to help with relief efforts.

“We expect to see a lot of infrastructure damage, some lightweight structure damage and some areas where there’s some flooding,” said Rescue Squad Officer Mark Campet.

This team responds to the direst situations.

“We have a number of evacuees that need to be moved from an area of hazard to uh dry ground area and then also true rescues that occur from people in the hazardous environments such as flooded roadway and streams that have reached over their banks,” explained Campet.

While most of their work happens after the storm passes, the American Red Cross has teams heading to Florida Tuesday.

“The American Red Cross provides food, shelter, and emotional support. We also have teams who work with mental health,” explained Executive Director of the Roanoke Chapter Jackie Grant.

Forecasters are uncertain about the impacts we’ll see here at home, but said the time to prepare is now.

“Always be flexible to understand that if this plan is not necessarily in the best place to move to adapt and overcome,” stated Campet.

About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.