Missouri Task Force 1 has been mobilized to help with search and rescue after Superstorm Sandy marched slowly inland along the East Coast.
The group is an urban search and rescue task force that is used to find people and provide medical care in collapsed buildings. They are also bringing extra water rescue equipment for this mission.
Eighty emergency responders and more than 100,000 pounds of equipment are headed to Herndon, VA, where they will wait for their mission assignment. Crews should arrive by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Millions awoke Tuesday without power or mass transit along the East Coast with huge swaths of the nation's largest city unusually vacant and dark.
New York was among the hardest hit, with its financial heart in Lower Manhattan shuttered for a second day and seawater cascading into the still-gaping construction pit at the World Trade Center. Pres. Barack Obama declared a major disaster in the city and Long Island.
One of the things Missouri Task Force 1 crews battled with Hurricane Katrina was the heat and the humidity, said Missouri Task Force 1 Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp.
"This one is just the opposite. We have got cold water, weather temperatures. We have snow we are going to be driving through to get there," Blomenkamp said. "One thing in cold conditions, whenever you are wet, it is always dangerous because of hypothermia."
The storm that made landfall in New Jersey on Monday evening with 80 mph sustained winds killed at least 16 people in seven states, cut power to more than 7.4 million homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Ohio, caused scares at two nuclear power plants and stopped the presidential campaign cold.
"This will be one for the record books," said John Miksad, senior vice president for electric operations at Consolidated Edison, which had more than 670,000 customers without power in and around New York City.
Even more task forces are on alert as emergency responders on the East Coast assess just how much damage was done. They could deploy more task forces from Arizona, Washington and Florida.
On the Kansas side, the state's Incident Management Team traveled to Maryland on Sunday to support emergency responders.
And the Kansas National Guard is sheltering military aircraft from hurricane-affected areas.
The Red Cross of north-central Kansas also sent a team to help in New York and Baltimore.
Remnants of the former Category 1 hurricane were forecast to head across Pennsylvania before taking another sharp turn into western New York by Wednesday morning. Although weakening as it goes, the massive storm - which caused wind warnings from Florida to Canada - will continue to bring heavy rain and local flooding, said Daniel Brown, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
As Hurricane Sandy closed in on the Northeast, it converged with a cold-weather system that turned it into a monstrous hybrid of rain and high wind - and even snow in West Virginia and other mountainous areas inland.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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