As Hurricane Florence takes aim at the Southeast, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is deploying New York resources to assist with the storm response.
Fifty airmen from the New York Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing on Long Island will head to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Cuomo announced Wednesday. The team will provide support to response efforts after the storm makes landfall.
The hurricane is a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 mph. It is expected to impact the Carolinas and Virginia early Thursday. Several inches of rainfall is in the forecast and winds could cause serious damage, especially along the coastline.
Cuomo said the airmen from the 106th Rescue Wing will leave Wednesday afternoon. The New York Army National Guard has equipment, including two CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopters and two UH-60 Blackhawk medical evacuation helicopters, ready to deploy.
The helicopters would depart from the Army Aviation Support Facility based at the Rochester International Airport. The helicopters are on standby, according to the governor's office.
"New Yorkers always help their neighbors in their time of need and just as we have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida after last year's destructive storms, we will once again stand ready to lend a hand to our fellow Americans," Cuomo said.
State personnel and resources could be deployed to assist with the response to Hurricane Florence. The state's Urban Search and Rescue, NY Task Force 2 and incident management teams may be sent to the Southeast to assist with rescues and recovery.
New York has equipment ready to assist affected states. The stockpile includes more than 1.8 million sandbags, over 438,000 bottles and cans of water and more than 28,500 ready-to-eat meals.