BEVERLY, MASS. (WHDH) - A search and rescue team from Beverly is in Florida, awaiting their assignments to help with search and rescue efforts as the state recovers from the tropical storm.

This weekend, 45 members of the Beverly-based FEMA search and rescue team, Massachusetts Task Force 1, deployed to Florida, joining rescue teams from around the country.

“We’ve unfortunately had a lot of experience over the years deploying to hurricanes,” Task Force member Neil Aspesi said. “But that’s helped on our skills.”

The task force will assist with evaluating structural damage and rescuing any people or pets, as well as helping people without water or electricity get connected to resources.

“While we certainly hope that we can continue to find more people alive and bring them out, we’re going to support the state and their needs as we continue to go house by house and make sure that everybody’s accounted for,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said.

Fort Myers is one of the hardest-hit areas in the state, with emergency rescue crews going door to door looking for survivors. The area’s beach will be closed for the next week for the safety of the emergency crews as they search.

“We already have electricity slowly returning as well as water service,” said Mayor Kevin Anderson. “We have crews that are working 16 hours a day.”

Early estimates show the losses from Ian are near $50 billion, making it Florida’s costliest hurricane ever.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Florida Oct. 5 to survey the damage.

“My administration is working closely with the CBC members to do whatever it takes, whatever it takes,” Biden said, “to help search and rescue recovery and rebuilding.”

As the search and rescue efforts progress, the death toll continues to climb. So far, Hurricane Ian has killed at least 74 people in Florida alone.

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