Kentucky sending rescue crews to North Carolina

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- FEMA says Wednesday is the last “safe” day to get out of Florence’s path, but several people are heading south to help out, including two swiftwater search and rescue teams from Kentucky.

About two dozen first responders from western Kentucky met up at the emergency operations center Wednesday afternoon in Frankfort to load up cases of food and water.

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The rescue crews say they’re not sure where they’ll stay.

They just know they’ll be stationed in Raleigh until Florence makes landfall.

Then they’ll be dispatched into floodwaters to rescue people.



The two teams are comprised from the Louisville Fire Department and the Jefferson County Water Rescue Team.

They’re going as part of a compact between the 50 states to transfer teams and tools in and out of states during an emergency at no cost to the federal government.

Governor Matt Bevin and others came to see them off. Many of the crew members say they’ve only done work like this locally, but they aren’t nervous.

“We prepare for this for years and everyone that’s on the team has worked and trained very hard for many years for an event like this and we typically train for something because of the local emergencies we have and it’s an honor to represent the state,” Terence Delaney, Assistant Chief at the Louisville Fire Department, said.

“This is the height of volunteerism. It is the height of preparedness. It is the height of local volunteers supporting the state who in turn is part of the federal response,” Michael Dossett, Director of the Division of Emergency Management, said.

The swiftwater rescue crews will be in North Carolina for the next nine days.

Dossett says the state is intentionally sending crews from western Kentucky because the eastern part of the state could see flash flooding from Florence next week. He says the state will be prepared for that.