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Phoenix firefighters sent to Florida to help should Hurricane Irma hit

(Twitter Photo/@PHXFire)

PHOENIX — Should Hurricane Irma hit Florida later this week, a team from the Phoenix Fire Department will be there to help rescue people and pets.

“The team is in great spirits and ready to answer the call of those in need,” Capt. Larry Subveri said.

Subveri said all 80 members of the team were asked if they wanted to continue working. All of them elected to do so.

Subveri said the department’s Task Force 1 team was sent to Shreveport, Louisiana on Wednesday. It could be in Alabama by Thursday on its way to Florida.

There was no word where it may be deployed after the storm hits.

Irma — one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded — could make landfall in southern Florida early Sunday morning.

The team was sent to Texas a little more than a week ago after Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area. The Phoenix firefighters rescued at least 17 people from flooded neighborhoods.

The Red Cross said it was deploying 68 people from Arizona to help in Florida.

Irma was expected to move through the Caribbean as the week moved on. The predicted path would put the storm over Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before moving on to Florida.

“I’m terrified,” Antigua resident Carol Joseph said as she finished her last trip to the supermarket before seeking shelter. “I had to come back for more batteries because I don’t know how long the current will be off.”

President Donald Trump declared emergencies in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and authorities in the Bahamas said they would evacuate the residents of six islands at the southern end of the island chain.

“I cannot stress this enough. Do not ignore evacuation orders,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said. “Remember: You can rebuild your home. You cannot rebuild your life.”

KTAR News’ Ali Vetnar and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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