Volunteers from Red Cross, Ohio Task Force 1 heading to Carolinas ahead of hurricane

Millions of Americans are preparing for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the eastern seaboard in decades.

While many are evacuating the coast, others are going there to help prepare for Hurricane Florence. 

Ohio Task Force 1 was to deploy from Dayton to North Carolina Tuesday morning with a 16-member team to help with water search and rescue resources.

And as of Tuesday morning, eight American Red Cross volunteers from Northeast Ohio were to deploy, seven to the hurricane zone to staff shelters and one to the FEMA Regional Headquarters in Philadelphia.

Hurricane Florence is carrying winds of up to 140 miles per hour as a Category 4 storm. It's expected to strengthen and possibly become a Category 5 storm Tuesday before closing in on North Carolina or South Carolina Thursday.

Mandatory evacuations have been issued for parts of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

The governors are encouraging everyone else to fill up their tanks and learn evacuation routes. They're also telling people to prepare for lengthy power outages after the hurricane hits.

Continuing coverage here. 

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