Sept. 12 (UPI) — The Marine Corps has canceled evaluations as governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland declared a state of emergency yesterday as Hurricane Florence heads towards the East Coast. The storm is forecast to make landfall along the Atlantic coast Thursday as a major hurricane.
Marine Corps Brigadier Gen. James Glynn announced in a post on Facebook that the evacuation of Recruit Depot Parris Island and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., have been canceled.
“Regular operations will continue,” Glynn said.
The Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune will no longer require mandatory evacuations, either. On Tuesday, commanding general of Camp Lejeune Brigadier Gen. Julian Alford said, “many evacuation routes are vulnerable to flooding, and hotels and fuel supplies are likely already overwhelmed, making it very dangerous to travel from and then back to Camp Lejeune when the storm is over.”
Hurricane Florence is expected to make a direct landfall Thursday with up to 140 mile per hour winds and heavy rainfall which could result in severe flooding.
North Carolina will put 320 Army National Guardsmen on standby with another 7,000 available to mobilize, according to the Department of Defense. South Carolina has 2,000 Guardsmen on active duty, as well as 50 airmen. Virginia has 1,500 members of the Guard and the Virginia Defense Force militia mobilized. Maryland has not released numbers of personnel in preparation yet.
“Military organization and training enables unsurpassed capabilities at home in times of large-scale emergency or disaster response,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. Jeffrey W. Burkett, vice director of domestic operations and force development for the National Guard Bureau.
“In other words, the experience and education acquired by National Guard personnel significantly benefits the sense of urgency for us to provide our unique capabilities in times of disaster,” Burkett said.