35 members of Virginia Task Force 2 (VATF-2) were activated and deployed to the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Ida threatens to hit Louisiana on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane. VATF-2 Urban Search and Rescue Team are often deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to any national emergency or disaster. The team left Virginia Beach on Friday, Aug. 27 at around 10 p.m. to go to Alexandria, Louisiana, where they’re going to await further orders from FEMA White Incident Support Team.
Don Dinse, President of the York/Williamsburg/Poquoson/James City Professional Fire Fighters, Paramedics, and Dispatchers, said that one member from York County Fire has been deployed as a part of the task force. Virginia Beach officials said that the last time VATF-2 Urban Search and Rescue Team was activated and deployed was earlier this month to Boston, Massachusetts in preparation for Hurricane Henri. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency thanks to the potential impacts of Hurricane Ida and has urged residents to evacuate.