Pennsylvania is sending National Guard troops, helicopters and other specialists and equipment to help with the response and recovery efforts for Hurricane Florence.
Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday that the deployment involves more than 25 guardsmen, six technicians from the state Fish and Boat Commission and four helicopters, including two UH-60 Black Hawks and two CH-47 Chinook helicopters.
The Guard personnel have been leaving this week from Fort Indiantown Gap to join others at a staging area for post-storm efforts at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, near Columbia, South Carolina.
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The Size of Hurricane Florence
The size of Hurricane Florence, at 630 miles across, is comparable to 2017's "monster" Hurricane Irma. Irma measured approximately 400 miles across, according to NBC meteorologist Katilyn McGrath, while Katia came in at 70 miles wide.
Measurement refers to area size impacted by hurricane-force winds. Satellite images courtesy NOAA.
The Fish and Boat technicians are with the Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team. They're deploying with a rescue truck and trailer that contains inflatable boats and other rescue equipment.
"I am incredibly proud our National Guard members and the Fish and Boat Commission personnel for their readiness and willingness to assist where needed – in Pennsylvania and in other parts of the U.S. during difficult times," Wolf said. "While we continue to help those in Pennsylvania affected by recent flooding, we also are thinking of our fellow citizens in North and South Carolina as they prepare for Hurricane Florence. I want everyone to know that Pennsylvania is with them, wishing safe passage through this storm."