Duke Energy, hundreds of IN residents heading south to help in wake of Hurricane Matthew

Dozens of Indiana Task Force 1 members prepare to respond to Hurricane Matthew. (Indiana Task Force 1 Photo)

CENTRAL INDIANA (WISH) — Hundreds of central Indiana residents packed up and hit the road to help those affected by Hurricane Matthew.

Late Thursday night, Indiana Task Force One left after receiving a call for help. The 80-member crew is just heading south at this point. It’s unclear where they will be assigned or what they’ll be doing in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

“We have fire, law enforcement, ems personnel and civilians who have backgrounds they may come from backgrounds as structural specialists, medical, so we have several civilians involved along,” said Cpt. Mike Pruitt, who is a Task Force One member and Wayne Township firefighter. “It’s really unpredictable what we might get into when we get there. We’ve very multi-talented group of people and can fill any void that FEMA needs to put us in to help those in need down here once we arrive but we are fully capable. We have medical people, we have search and rescue K9s, we have people who are trained in heavy rescue, we have people who are trained in hazardous materials so we can take just about anything that’s thrown at us.”

Duke Energy Indiana is also sending 130 linemen and additional contractors to the affected area. The linemen will go straight to Orlando, while contractors will arrive in Raleigh, North Carolina. The crews left from Noblesville on Friday around 7 a.m. Duke Energy officials told the crews to pack for 8 days, but said they may need to be gone longer than that.