Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corps decided Wednesday not to evacuate its bases on the Carolina coast ahead of Hurricane Florence, which is expected to strike on Thursday.
The Marines had planned to evacuate its recruit training facility at Parris Island, S.C., Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., on Tuesday.
But Marine Corps Brig. Gen. James Glynn announced in a post on Facebook that "regular operations will continue."
Camp Lejeune commander Brig. 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-mph 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 to help with recovery after the storm has passed, 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.