CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of emergency responders from the Indianapolis area will leave for the Gulf Coast tomorrow, to help people affected by Hurricane Michael.
Indiana Task Force One is deploying a 16-member water rescue team, but it’s not yet clear where they will go.
Hurricane Michael is expected to make landfall in the Florida panhandle on Wednesday, and might be a powerful category 3 storm – with winds of 111 to 129 mph – when it hits.
Gas stations in Florida already are running out of fuel.
Residents and tourists are evacuating before the hurricane strikes. Businesses and homeowners are boarding up, as residents fill sandbags to stave off a storm surge that might top 12 feet.
“Unfortunately, it looks like it’s coming directly at us. All you can do is prepare,” Florida resident Mark Schneider said.
“I will go by the store today, and get some water and some food, packed goods, batteries. Got plenty of flashlights; we’re pretty set,” Florida resident Lisa Jones said.
Hurricane Michael clipped Cuba on Monday; flooding streets, damaging homes, and cutting off power with downed trees. After striking Florida, and soon weakening to a tropical storm, Michael is expected to move northeast over Georgia and the Carolinas, where residents are still cleaning up from Hurricane Florence.
Made up of emergency responders from fire departments in and around Marion County, Indiana, Indiana Task Force One also sent three members to the Carolinas after Hurricane Florence. That team returned to Indiana on Sunday, after a month of helping storm victims.