SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – As the East Coast prepares for Hurricane Irene, a Scottsdale-based company is dispatching medical flight crews and aircraft to the area to help with evacuations.
The AeroCare staff and air ambulance will be used to evacuate critical-care patients at hospitals in preparation for the approaching hurricane.
Many East Coast states are declaring emergencies and ordering evacuations as Hurricane Irene nears. The hurricane is projected to follow a path from North Carolina to Canada.
According to the National Weather Service, the Category Two hurricane is forecast to pass near or over the North Carolina coast on Saturday then move along the Mid-Atlantic coast.
The storm is supposed to pound the area with rain and possible flooding.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered mandatory evacuations for about 270,000 residents in low-lying coastal areas, including parts of Battery Park City, Coney Island and the Rockaways.
Bloomberg said the mandatory evacuations are the first in the state's history.
Subways, buses and commuter trains in New York City, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will be halted because of Hurricane Irene.
In Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray said he will declare a state of emergency for the nation's capital ahead of the hurricane.
Gray said the declaration was awaiting final review from the office of the attorney general, but he intended to join governors in Maryland and Virginia in issuing the order.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.