MIAMI (CBS4) – Those devastated by the destructive tornadoes in several southern states will soon have some of South Florida’s finest around to help.
City of Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Iggy Carroll confirmed to CBS4 News late Friday night that the city’s Search and Rescue Task Force 2 and several cadaver dogs are loading up their gear, preparing to deploy to Alabama early Saturday morning.
The search and rescue team is just one of many South Florida agencies lending a hand to areas hardest hit by Wednesday’s tornadoes.
FPL spokesperson Sarah Marmion said FPL has dispatched 79 restoration contractors, 90 distribution restoration specialists and 13 transmission restoration specialists to Alabama to help restore power in the affected areas.
The line crews and their trucks left Thursday morning for the Birmingham area, she said in a statement.
“In addition, we have sent 22 damage assessment specialists to assist the restoration crews in the hardest-hit areas,” the FPL statement said.
The South Florida chapter of the American Red Cross sent three volunteers to the area this week, The Salvation Army of Broward County also sent several volunteers would to Alabama.
The group will take the agency’s mobile feeding unit which can feed hundreds of people each day.
Major Leona O’Bryant said that in a crisis the unit – known as the canteen – is a godsend.
“They’re just looking and saying, ‘I don’t know where to turn or what to do,’ but they see the canteen roll into the neighborhood and it’s like, ‘Oh thank you,” she said. “It’s like a relief to them.”
The storms are personal for O’Bryant. She grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee and has lots of family there.
“I’ve been on the phone today trying to get in touch with people,” she said, adding that everyone she’s spoken to survived the tornadoes.