LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) – The City of Lufkin released a statement Friday saying four Lufkin firefighters are being sent on a TIFMAS (Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System) deployment to hurricane-ravaged Florida.

Asst. Chief Ryan Watson, Lt. Larry Tutt, Firefighter Blaine Byrum and Firefighter Jose Grenados are leaving Friday afternoon and will be reporting to a staging area in Orlando later in the weekend.

Once they reach Orlando, they will be given assignments in storm-damaged areas. They, along with groups from Nacogdoches, Texarkana, San Antonio and Smith County will comprise a strike team tasked with post-hurricane recovery.

As of Friday morning, Hurricane Ian’s death toll reached 21 with an unknown number of missing, according to the press release.

The previous group sent earlier in the week was called home before leaving Texas after the state changed its deployment strategy. The City of Lufkin asks people to keep the men in their thoughts and prayers.

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