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Marines retreat from famed Parris Island recruiting base as Hurricane Florence advances

Recruits with Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion prepare to enter a gas chamber Dec. 9, 2014, on Parris Island, South Carolina. These Marines are scheduled to graduate January 30. Welcome to the gun club, Marines. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Caitlin Brink/Released)

Marine recruits were ordered Tuesday to evacuate their famed Parris Island recruiting base as Hurricane Florence takes aim at the Carolinas.

Brig. Gen. James Glynn ordered the recruits to retreat to a logistics base in Georgia to continue their training. They will be accompanied by Marines and civilians deemed essential to their mission. Other civilians were told to move at least 100 miles inland from the base.

Parris Island lies north of Hilton Head Island near the southern tip of South Carolina. Forecasts show the region within the area where Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall.

The Marine Corps’ history at Parris island dates to the Civil War when it was used as a coaling stop for the Union navy. It evolved into a major training hub by World War I. And in World War II, more than 200,000 recruits were trained there.

“I have determined the safest course of action is to evacuate,” Glynn said in a statement. “For everyone’s safety, I have issued the evacuation order well ahead of the storm in an effort to ensure everyone is able to seek refuge before the storm impacts the area.”

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Farther north, Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, are being ordered to shelter in place, said Maj. Brian Block, a Marine Corps spokesman.

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© 2018 USA Today

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