Thousands of recruits and military staff aboard the recruit depot at Parris Island, South Carolina, will begin a mandatory evacuation on Tuesday ahead of Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall sometime Thursday.

On Monday morning, the recruit depot sent an advance working party of staff members to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in Georgia to prepare for the influx of Marine recruits who will continue their basic training aboard the logistics base as they wait out the hurricane.

Officials on the base also canceled all family day activities ahead of an expected Friday graduation for Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion. Those Marines will hold their graduation aboard the logistics base in Albany before being sent on leave.

“We continue to work closely and coordinate with South Carolina and Beaufort County Emergency Services to monitor Hurricane Florence and assess the safety of our families, recruits, and permanent personnel,” a command release from the recruit depot said.

The National Hurricane Center reported today that Hurricane Florence has grown in strength to a category four hurricane with winds hitting near 140 mph.

The storm is expected to make landfall over the Carolinas sometime Thursday. The National Hurricane Center is also warning about the potential for life threatening fresh-water flooding due to prolonged and heavy rainfall.

Parris Island was evacuated last year in September due to Hurricane Irma and again in 2016 for Hurricane Matthew.

Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.

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