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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As Florence inches closer to the East Coast, some say it could be one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in decades. Evacuations are underway and others are doing what they can to prepare ahead of a storm that’s packing 130 mph winds and potentially ruinous rains.

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While many are fleeing the storm’s path, others are traveling into it to help, as local Red Cross volunteers flew out of the Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday afternoon.

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“I’m ready to go down there and I’m ready to start helping out,” said Alex Boyer, a volunteer firefighter from New Jersey.

“I have family down in South Carolina. I had family in Texas at the time when Harvey hit, so I like to go down there and make sure they’re OK,” Boyer continued.

He and Michael Kiley-Zufelt are heading to Columbia, South Carolina. They’re among 700 Red Cross disaster relief volunteers nationwide traveling to help ahead of Hurricane Florence.

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“I’m anticipating some very long days, some very hard work,” said Kiley-Zufelt, the senior disaster program manager for the Eastern Pennsylvania Region of Red Cross.

As their flight left at 3 p.m., many travelers came in from South Carolina. Bob Curran, who is from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, just flew back from Myrtle Beach where he has a condo.

“People are getting out along with everybody else,” he said.

Bill and Debra Dorris also flew in from South Carolina.

“We live at the edge of the mountains, so we get a lot of flash flooding from the storms as far as the rain is concerned,” said Bill Dorris.

“It’s been bad there before and we’re all South Carolinians so we all feel it,” added Debra Dorris.

The couple says they feel for the coastal residents. They used to live on the coast and had to endure the destruction decades ago from Hurricane Hugo.

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A hurricane warning is in effect for the Carolinas.