“It is a surreal experience, to be honest. But this is what I choose to do,” one of the emergency services said.
(Jeffery Lee Behling / American Medical Response )
A small South Carolina airport has undertaken the mighty task of housing hundreds of workers from all corners of the country ahead of Hurricane Florence arrival in the region.
Hundreds of emergency responders from as far away as Nevada and California began arriving Wednesday in Downtown Spartanburg Memorial Airport, after the airport director Terry Connorton offered the air hub as a headquarters for assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) reported.
Hurricane Florence makes the landing in Wrightsville Beach, NC
Category 1 hurricane makes landfall at 7:15 to 90 mph winds; Janice Dean reports on the latest storm track.
According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the airport is a “strategic location” is suitable for such a base, given its proximity to the coast, where the relief is expected to need, but far enough inland to hopefully avoid the worst of the Category 1 storm.
‘LIFE-THREATENING’ HURRICANE FLORENCE QUITS NORTH CAROLINA BAR THAT NEVER CLOSES
“We are pleased to do this. FEMA’s success is not only about FEMA. It is everyone pulling together to get this done. That is what I see, here,” Connorton told AOPA news.
During the night, Spartanburg Airport has become a “small city”, the housing of the workers, the rescue pilots and support staff, the outlet states, such as tables, chairs and portable showers are being rolled out in the hangars for the crew. The closure of the orbit is opened to provide extra space for emergency vehicles.
Hundreds of workers are currently filling the airport, an airport employee confirmed to Fox News Friday.
The Herald-Journal reported that more than 400 emergency response personnel, 200 ambulances and 11 medical helicopters are presently housed at the air hub.
Once activated, the crew will be the work of one – and two-week rotations to help where needed in disaster areas.
“This facility is just great. She could not have chosen a better place,” said Tyanie Gordon, American Medical Response director of Tucson, Arizona., Spartanburg Airport hospitality.
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“It is a surreal experience, to be honest. But this is what I choose to do,” emergency responder David Allen of Casa Grande, Arizona., likewise, it is agreed.
In the days since, first responders have taken to Facebook to share photos and updates from their stay at the airport.
“We are pleased to do this. FEMA’s success is not only about FEMA. It is everyone pulling together to get this done. That is what I see here.”
(Fayette EMS-Spartanburg )
“Now a real nap before the storm,” wrote online.
Early Friday morning, Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, N. C., when it battered the coast with hurricane-strength winds and heavy rainfall that officials warned could lead to catastrophic flooding.
Officials said that around 1.7 million people in the Carolina and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it is unclear how many have. The houses of around 10 million euro under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.
Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez-Sang, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter via @JaninePuhak