HENRYVILLE, Ind. (WISH) - Specialists from Indianapolis will help search for survivors in the tornado zone.
The state ordered members of Indiana Task Force One to head south tonight.
Just before 11 p.m. Friday, Task Force One leader Tom Neal said his was on the ground seven miles south of Henrysville and had started searching. He said the team will work in 12-hour shifts to search 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the search effort is called off.
The team met at Interstae 65 and U.S. 50, at the Seymour Outlet Mall. Because of debris on the interstate, that's was close as they could get to the search area. But eventually roads were cleared and they were able to move further south. They were operating out of Silver Creek Elementary school in neaby Sellersburg.
Neal speaks not only as a task force leader, but also as a battalion chief in the Indianapolis Fire Department. He's familiar with how time and conditions influence the team's success.
"Rescue capabilities go up," Neal said, "if you get to [the trapped victims] in the first several hours after the incident."
That's especially true now, with temperatures dropping markedly overnight.
"They're going to have hypothermic issues associated with being trapped in the structure, with associated injuries," Neal said.
Task Force One will have 70 searchers and 10 support specialists working in the Henryville area.
Neal said the unit is "most often deployed on hurricanes and doing wide-area searches."
But, it has worked at tornado scenes in the past. The team headed south back in 2005, after a tornado hit Evansville.
Task Force One also gained notoriety after the Sept. 11 attacks, when it was called to New York City to help in that search and recovery mission.
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