Virginia Beach FEMA rescue group heads to Gulf Coast ahead of Hurricane Ida

Tropical Weather
Posted at 7:11 AM, Aug 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-28 14:54:38-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - As Hurricane Ida heads towards the coast of Louisiana, a FEMA task force based in Virginia Beach is headed to help.

Virginia Beach officials posted that on Friday FEMA VA-TF 2 Urban Search and Rescue got orders to deploy to the Gulf Coast.

This is in preparation for Hurricane Ida.

35 members departed the Harry E. Diezel Virginia Beach Fire Training Center just before 10 p.m.

They are headed to Alexandria, LA, where they will wait for orders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency White Incident Support Team.

Vrginia Beach officials said, "VATF-2 USAR is one of 28 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Teams positioned across the country. The Virginia Beach Fire Department is the sponsoring agency for VATF-2. VATF-2 has conducted search and rescue operations in the aftermath of numerous disasters. The last time the team was activated and deployed was last earlier this month in preparation of Hurricane Henri."

Forecasters say Ida made landfall in Cuba as a hurricane and could grow to an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm with top winds of 140 mph when it nears the U.S. coast.

The New Orleans is calling for voluntary evacuations of the city but says it's too late to do a mandatory evacuation.