The Carolina coast is bracing for Hurricane Florence, the Category 4 monster churning in the mid-Atlantic. The massive cyclone is headed for Wilmington, NC, and is expected to make landfall at 2 am on Friday the 14th.

The U.S. military has evacuated non-essential personnel al at key bases in the region, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has sent relief supplies to Fort Bragg to prepare for the aftermath of this potentially catastrophic weather event.

Dept. of Defense
South Carolina National Guard Soldiers from the 118th Forward Support Company transfer bulk diesel fuel into M987 HEMTT fuel tanker trucks for distribution in preparation to support partnered civilian agencies and safeguard the citizens of the state in advance of Hurricane Florence, in North Charleston, South Carolina, September 10, 2018. Approximately 800 Soldiers and Airmen have been mobilized to prepare, respond and participate in recovery efforts as forecasters project Hurricane Florence will increase in strength with potential to be a Category 4 storm and a projected path to make landfall near the Carolinas and east coast.
  • North Carolina plans on activating 320 National Guard soldiers under the North Carolina Emergency Management’s disaster response plan, with an additional 7,000 North Carolina citizen soldiers and airman ready to mobilize, an Army spokesman told Task & Purpose.
  • In addition, South Carolina will activate about 1,100 National Guard Soldiers for hurricane response. Guard personnel will remain on-duty as long as needed.
U.S. Army National Guard/Sgt. Brian Calhoun/108th Public Affairs Detachment
South Carolina Army National Guard Soldiers from the 118th Forward Support Company stage recovery equipment to provide support for disabled vehicles during the lane reversal of I-26 in North Charleston, South Carolina, Sept. 11, 2018. Approximately 2,000 Soldiers and Airmen have been mobilized to prepare, respond and participate in recovery efforts as forecasters project Hurricane Florence will increase in strength with potential to be a Category 4 storm and a projected path to make landfall near the Carolinas and east coast.
  • The Carolinas aren’t the only ones battening down the hatches. The Virginia National Guard is planning to deploy bring up to 1,500 soldiers and airmen for possible assistance with the state’s response operations, while Gov. Ralph Northam has authorized up to 6,000 personnel for response operations.
  • To the north, the Maryland National Guard anticipates activating 500 soldiers to be put on state orders for hurricane response.
hurricane florenceU.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Caledon Rabbipa
The guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) departs Naval Station Norfolk in preparation for Hurricane Florence. Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command ordered all Navy Ships in the Hampton Roads area to sortie on Sept. 10, 2018 ahead of Hurricane Florence. There are nearly 30 ships preparing to get underway from Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek as Hurricane Florence is forecasted to bring high winds and rain to the Mid-Atlantic coast. Ships will be directed to areas of the Atlantic where they will be best postured for storm avoidance.
  • “Governors are best postured to determine the needs of their residents and establish response priorities, and will use Army National Guard Soldiers to help meet those needs,” an Army spokesman said. “The Army is in the process of positioning equipment and personnel in the affected areas to ensure adequate resources are readily available if/when needed.”