80-member task force from Indiana leaves for Florida to assist with Hurricane Matthew

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Indiana Task Force 1, an 80-member team, will leave Indiana tonight and head to Florida as Floridians brace for Hurricane Matthew.

Task Force 1 is comprised of emergency responders and civilians from various professional backgrounds across the state. Among them are specialists in technical rescue, search, hazardous materials, medical and logistics.

Crews spent Thursday afternoon preparing for the trip.

Here’s what you need to know about the storm:

  • The storm has killed at least 269 people in three Caribbean countries. The majority, 264 people, died in Haiti, said Civil Protection Service spokesman Joseph Edgard Celestin.
  • Matthew remains a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 mph, according to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory. As of 9 p.m. ET, Matthew was located about 70 miles east of West Palm Beach. The center of the storm was moving northwest at 13 mph.
  • President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for Florida and South Carolina.
  • Based on the latest projections, Matthew could make landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm, or it could skirt the coast and head north.

Follow the task force on Twitter as they document their experience.