Massachusetts Task Force One Headed South for Hurricane Florence - NECN
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Massachusetts Task Force One Headed South for Hurricane Florence

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mass. Search and Rescue Team Headed to Virginia

    Massachusetts Task Force One is heading to Virginia to help deal with Hurricane Florence. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018)

    Massachusetts Task Force One crews are packed and ready to head south to help out with Hurricane Florence.

    "This is going to be one of the biggest storms," said Dennis Levasseur, the team manager.

    The 46 crew members from all over Massachusetts are bringing 10 vehicles and four boats to help Virginia and the Carolinas deal with powerful Hurricane Florence.

    "I mean with a hurricane type 4, heavy winds about 155 mph can do a lot of damage to structures," Levasseur said. "So we're ready for building collapse and any kind of water rescue."

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    The crew trains hard for these types of missions, and they have plenty of experience. Most recently, they went to Houston to help during Hurricane Harvey.

    "You think about all the good guys and women that you're going down with. You've been training for a long time to do this," Levasseur said.

    But Tuesday's deployment has extra meaning.

    This task force was one of the first around the country to arrive at Ground Zero 17 years ago.

    "I think it's kind of a pride thing that makes us feel good that we're going out to do it again on such an important day," Levasseur said.

    Before departing, they held a brief moment of silence at the 9/11 memorial that now stands at their base in Beverly.

    "It is a somber day for us. We started it that way, but we have each other to work with and we know we've got a mission to go do," Levasseur said.

    The team should arrive in Virginia on Tuesdaynight, and they're prepared to stay for two weeks.

    They have another 16 members ready to go, with another set of boats for swift water or surface water rescue.

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