A search-and-rescue team is being deployed by FEMA from Montgomery County in Maryland to help in South Carolina as the area braces for Hurricane Florence. (Courtesy of Montgomery County Fire)

A crew of about 80 rescuers from Montgomery County is headed to South Carolina to help deal with Hurricane Florence and its aftermath.

The storm is expected to hit the Carolinas hard later this week.

The crew going to Columbia, S.C., is called Maryland Task Force 1. The members are mainly from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and will operate under directions from Federal Emergency Management Agency.

They are taking food, water and other supplies to be self-sufficient, plus six boats and a K-9 crew. Their mission will likely last for at least 10 days, according to Pete Piringer, a spokesman for Montgomery County Fire.

Forecasters with The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang are now saying Florence is a Category 4 storm that could bring very dangerous winds, flash flooding and power outages. It could be one of the most intense hurricanes to strike the Southeast in at least two decades.