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More Arizona rescue teams being sent to help Hurricane Irma victims

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

PHOENIX — More Arizona rescue teams were being sent to help people in both Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma swept through over the weekend.

Arizona Incident Management Team spokeswoman Tiffany Davila said Wednesday the 20-person team was being send to the Florida Keys to help oversee search and rescue efforts.

“Our assignment is likely going to be assisting as command for all of the other search and rescue teams that are down in the Keys right now,” she said.

Davila said the team was itching to get to work.

“The team is energized,” she said. “They’re ready to go out, they’re ready to get to Florida so that we can help the recovery efforts out there.”

The Arizona National Guard said Wednesday that it would send more than a dozen specialists to the U.S. Virgin Islands to help reestablish the region’s airports.

The airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing will also help handle incoming cargo and people.

On Tuesday, the Phoenix Fire Department said it expected the 80-person Arizona Task Force 1 urban search and rescue team to head home. The team went straight to Florida after helping rescue people in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.

“We will complete our mission [Tuesday] and probably stay one more night on the island, but that could change,” Assistant Fire Chief Shelly Jamison said.

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