Several area first responders are headed to Florida as part of a Kansas rescue delegation to help with the response to Hurricane Dorian.
Five firefighters from the Manhattan Fire Department, as well as two from the Junction City Fire Department, are among the 42-member delegation who left Monday evening to help search and transport stranded people and animals, provide basic life support and medical care and support general hurricane response efforts.
The slow-moving hurricane parked over the Bahamas Monday and killed at least five people. The Red Cross estimates more than 13,000 homes have been severely damaged or destroyed by the hurricane, but a full damage estimate isn’t possible until the storm subsides and rescuers can survey the area.
The storm is expected to reach the Florida coast late Tuesday. The National Hurricane Center is warning residents of life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds along Florida’s east coast and the Georgia and South Carolina coasts. Much of the expected wind damage is shifting upward to North Carolina, where officials are warning residents of increased risks for hurricane-force winds later this week.
“History has shown us how important an immediate and effective emergency response is during catastrophic weather events when it comes to saving lives and property,” Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said. “We are sending an extremely trained and qualified group of Kansas first responders to assist the state of Florida as it faces this monstrous storm. It is my sincere hope that this team will provide the assistance needed in the safest way possible, and that they all return to Kansas as quickly and safely as possible.”