Virginia Beach-based rescue team returning from hurricane deployment

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Members of Virginia Task Force 2 are slated to return to their home base in Virginia Beach Monday, after a four-day deployment in Florida and Georgia to support Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. (Photo courtesy VA-TF-2 Facebook)
Members of Virginia Task Force 2 are slated to return to their home base in Virginia Beach Monday night, after a four-day deployment in Florida and Georgia to support Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. (Photo courtesy VA-TF2 Facebook)

A Virginia Beach-based search-and-rescue team is scheduled to return Monday night after a four-day, two-state deployment for Hurricane Matthew relief efforts.

Virginia Task Force 2, an urban search-and-rescue team made up of fire-department members from Hampton Roads and across Virginia, left Thursday evening from the Virginia Beach Fire Training Center, 928 S. Birdneck Rd. Participants in VA-TF2, as the team is known, include engineers, medical professionals, K-9 handlers and experts in logistics and communications.

Mobilized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ahead of the storm, the 80-member team divided its time between Florida and Georgia.

“They’re coming home tonight,” said Art Kohn, public information officer for the Virginia Beach Fire Department.

VA-TF2 arrived in Lake City, Florida Friday morning, and waited for assignments as the hurricane worked its way through the northern part of the state, a release said. The task force moved to Georgia’s Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Air Force Base on Saturday, Oct. 8 and helped with damage assessments on Tybee Island on Sunday, Oct. 9.

FEMA demobilized VA-TF2 on Monday.

The bulk of the team members are slated to return to Virgina Beach at 10 p.m.

Twelve members of VA-TF2 remain deployed with the East Coast Incident Support Team Cache, the release said.

 

 

 

 

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Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, TIME.com, nationalgeographic.com and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.