FAIRFAX, Va. — Groups of urban search and rescue emergency responders are heading south from Virginia and Maryland to help victims of Hurricane Matthew.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday afternoon activated Fairfax County’s Virginia Task Force 1, prompting about 80 to 90 members to load up trucks with food, water and equipment designed to help rescue people stranded in swift-moving waters.

WTOP-FM (http://bit.ly/2dXWsuJ ) reports two units from the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service are also deploying to Florida to assist.

The deployment can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks.

In Florida, Matthew was downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane overnight, and its storm center, or eye, hung just offshore Friday morning as it moved up the coastline, sparing communities the full force of its 120 mph winds.

Information from: WTOP-FM, http://www.wtop.com