Ohio Task Force 1 headed to Louisiana ahead of Hurricane Ida

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Ohio Task Force 1 was activated to respond to Hurricane Laura after the storm strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane on August 26, 2020. (WDTN Photo/Tyler Pistor)

DAYTON, OH (WDTN) – Ohio Task Force 1 (OH-TF1) has been officially activated as a Type III Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) team for a response to Louisiana in preparation of landfall from Hurricane Ida.

A Type III team includes a full equipment cache, including water rescue equipment, a 16-person water rescue team and Canine search teams. The entire roster will be composed of a 45-person team, made up of members from across the Ohio area.

The team will stage at a location in the State of Louisiana for rapid deployment into affected areas of the storm landing. OH-TF1 anticipates leaving Vandalia around 6 p.m. Friday.

Tropical Storm Ida swirled toward a strike on Cuba on Friday as a rapidly intensifying storm that could speed across warm Gulf waters and slam into Louisiana as a Category 3 hurricane on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center warned.

“The forecast track has it headed straight towards New Orleans. Not good,” said Jim Kossin, a senior scientist with The Climate Service.

The task force recently had been in Florida assisting with rescue and recovery efforts after the June collapse of a condo building in Surfside. The team was activated for deployment on June 30 after the 12-story building collapsed on June 24, killing dozens of people.

OH-TF1 recovered 14 victims from the Champlain Tower collapse during that time. For ten days straight, task force members worked 12-hour rotating shifts until Florida officials gave them the all-clear.

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