CHARLESTON, W.Va. — No end date is on the trip two teams of first responders from Southern West Virginia are taking into parts of Virginia and North Carolina ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Florence.

“It all depends on how hard the system hits,” said Wayne Harmon, chief of operations for the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority.

On Wednesday, Harmon talked with 580-WCHS, the MetroNews affiliate in Charleston, en route to Fort A.P. Hill in Bowling Green, Virginia.

He was part of a team of 11 total members traveling with a command vehicle, two ambulances from Kanawha County, two ambulances from Jan-Care and one from Logan County.

Florence was Harmon’s 4th hurricane emergency response trip — joining Gustav in 2008, Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012.

“After we do evacuations, right before a storm and during a storm and immediately right after the storm, we run a lot more 911 calls,” Harmon said of what he expected his team to be doing in Virginia for Florence.

His crew left Charleston around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Late Tuesday, a separate team of 12 with five Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority ambulances departed for Garner, North Carolina.

Harmon said technology these days makes it easier to navigate new places.

“If we don’t have that luxury, then we’ve got to get maps off local authorities to find our way,” Harmon said. “But after we get the patients, the care is the same as if we were back home.”

Catastrophic flooding was in the forecast for parts of both North Carolina and South Carolina with Florence’s official landfall projected for early Saturday morning.

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