Central Florida preps with 4 storms in Atlantic

- Joe and Judy Head organized and packed their gear Monday behind the Northland Church in Longwood, not knowing where their mobile disaster relief units may travel in the coming week or two.

The team at Northland only deploys to disaster effected areas if they are called upon, but the Heads can seldom remember a time when there were so many storms brewing near-by that may result in a call.

"Not quite so many at one time,” said Judy.

Last year their mobile kitchen and supply trailer spent time in Houston before quickly having to turn back home and help with the Hurricane Irma recovery.

TRACK THE STORMS: OrlandoHurricane.com

Now, one year to the day later, they’re keeping a close eye on the Carolinas. Meteorologists are forecasting a direct hit on the Carolinas by Hurricane Florence. The storm strengthened to a category 4 storm on Monday with landfall expected Thursday.

Representatives at Duke Energy said their line teams plan to make that their next stop. They expect to send local crews to that area Wednesday morning to help with whatever Florence brings.

The storm also threatens about a dozen weekend sporting events including the University of Central Florida’s football game at North Carolina.

"We're obviously concerned with everyone in that area with the potential for the hurricane coming in; you're always concerned for people's safety first and foremost,” said Coach Josh Heupel. "[I] Have no idea what's ultimately going to end up happening with the hurricane itself."

Volusia County Beach Patrol also continues to warn the public about dangerous rip currents coming into the coast due to the storms; currents that are being blamed as a possible contributor to a death over the weekend in New Smyrna Beach.

However all eyes don’t end on Florence.  Two other hurricanes continue to swirl in the Atlantic as does an additional storm. Forecasters have not ruled out those storms having more direct effects on Central Florida.

The Heads said they and their team are simply doing what they do every hurricane season: preparing for the worst. 

"I hope we can say two weeks from now: it's all gone and a sigh of relief, but you wanna be ready,” said Judy.

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