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Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Members to Join FEMA for Hurricane Sandy Preparation

Chief Alan Perry, Capt. Jeff Strickland and Capt. Louie Fernandez will leave for Washington D.C. Sunday

By Donna Rapado
|  Sunday, Oct 28, 2012  |  Updated 6:08 PM EDT
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Three local fire rescue members were hand-picked to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Search and Rescue Management Team prepare for Hurricane Sandy. Capt. Louie Fernandez spoke to NBC 6 South Florida about their plans in the Northeast.

Three local fire rescue members were hand-picked to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Search and Rescue Management Team prepare for Hurricane Sandy. Capt. Louie Fernandez spoke to NBC 6 South Florida about their plans in the Northeast.

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Three local fire rescue members were hand-picked to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Search and Rescue Management Team prepare for Hurricane Sandy.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Perry, Capt. Jeff Strickland and Capt. Louie Fernandez flew to Washington D.C. Sunday from Miami.

"Our jobs can be anything from search and rescue, to organizing logistics, to helping with communications in these types of disasters,” said Fernandez.

The three men, who have more than 60 years combined experience in South Florida, planned to be up north for two weeks.

"We do not know where exactly we'll be in the next coming days,” Fernandez said. “We prepare for the worst and hope for the best. But our first mission is to the Washington D.C. area. We then can honestly plan to divide our resources up into the New England states."

Thousands Ordered to Evacuate as Sandy Nears

The center of Hurricane Sandy is expected to be near the coast of the mid-Atlantic states by Monday night.

Meanwhile, in South Florida Sunday, several areas continued to experience flooding from Hurricane Sandy Sunday.

State Road A1A in Fort Lauderdale from Bayshore Drive to NE 20th Street is temporarily closed, as is beach access at East Sunrise Boulevard. City officials said the tide will peak between 8: 15 and 9 p.m. and urged residents and businesses to take precautions over the next few days.

The American Red Cross South Florida said it was providing sandwiches, snacks and water for residents in about 60 homes on a barrier island locked in by flooding.

In the same city, 20 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport flights were cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, and more cancellations were expected over the next several days, Officer Gregory Meyer said.

Miami Beach City Commissioner Deede Weithorn urged residents and those entering the area to plan ahead Monday and provide extra time for their commutes.

"I've instructed the City Manager and administration to closely monitor the high tide and take all necessary measures to avoid morning traffic gridlock," she said. "We need residents to do their part by giving themselves extra time as they head to work and school in the morning."

A coastal flood warning was issued for Miami-Dade County until 8 a.m. Monday. Miami Beach officials said flooding is possible in low-lying areas at Alton Road and 10th Street, North Bay Road at 55th Street and Indian Creek Drive.

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