Local Water Rescue Team Travels to Carolinas in Advance of Hurricane Florence

A group of 16 local firefighters trained in water rescues is on the road Tuesday, making the roughly 3,000 mile trip to the Carolinas where Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall later this week.

Members of the team departed from the Bay Area late Monday night with eight boats and enough food, water and fuel to be self-sufficient for five to seven days.

The team is driving nonstop to the Carolinas, hoping to arrive by the time Florence — a Category 4 storm — makes landfall.

The California Task Force 4 team will receive its specific orders from a local incident commander once it arrives on the East Coast.

Hurricane Florence's top winds dipped to 130 mph (215 kph) Tuesday morning, but it remains a Category 4 storm and is expected to approach the most-damaging Category 5 status as it slows strengthens over very warm ocean water off the coast of North and South Carolina.

Task forces from the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Orange County Fire Authority were also activated Monday.

The teams are specialists in urban search and swift-water rescue. Both will be staged in Virginia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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