Mid-South crews leaving for Hurricane Florence assistance

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mid-southerners are doing a lot to help out with relief efforts for Hurricane Florence.

Several crews are already in place along the East Coast, including Tennessee Task Force One in Virginia.

"I'm just glad we're able to help and keep them in our prayers," said Dale Lane, director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness.

Another team, made up of firefighters from Germantown, Atoka, Millington and Shelby County, is also in South Carolina. They specialize in swift-water rescues, Lane said.

Lt. Bob Beres with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said that help will be important.

"Water rescue was one of the biggest things we saw with the last two storms we had. People chose not to evacuate, then their house got flooded and they had to get out," Beres said.

Beres says they're humbled by all of their out-of-town visitors. He was especially emotional seeing a picture of ambulances from Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi all standing by in his state.

"It gives me goosebumps while I'm talking to you, knowing people from other states care about us and want to come help," he said.

The Mid-South is also offering resources at home.

The Millington Airpot is currently hosting about a dozen military aircraft that evacuated from North Carolina and Georgia.

"It's not uncommon when Florida or anyone on the east coast evacuates, they come to us," said Ted Dent with the Millington Airport Fire Department. "We're supporting the Guard and the military as we always try to do."

And it's clear that spirit of helping goes both ways.

"We're human beings. We don't wanna see each other suffer. If we can help somebody, we certainly will," Beres said.

Beres said the next time there's a threat somewhere else, he'll be the first to go.

Emergency groups from Blytheville and Crittenden County, Arkansas are also standing by right now on the East Coast.