Military members, aircraft land in Knoxville ahead of Hurricane Florence

@ # State

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Preparing for a Category 4 or stronger storm is no easy feat. Emergency evacuations are already in place along the coast of the Carolinas and for some, those evacuations are part of a job.

Many military bases located on the southeastern coast are evacuating aircrafts like planes and helicopters to avoid damage from Hurricane Florence.

"We're protecting the military assets, and bringing them to an area that's going to be safe from any inclement weather,"
said Lt. Rob Swain, a Navy helicopter pilot.

Swain's squadron arrived in Knoxville late Tuesday night after five hours of travel from Virginia. He flew an MH-60 Sierra helicopter that he says has a tank of gas that lasts three hours. During a stop, the group watched the forecast to avoid any potential storm.

"We were looking at the clouds forming there over North Carolina and Tennessee,"
said Swain.

The Navy group isn't the only military presence in Knoxville to avoid the storm's damage. Aircraft from bases along the coast in the path of the storm are at Island Home and McGhee Tyson airports.

"[I] have a good feeling about being here, all of the families are safe. Some of the families from coastal North Carolina are making their way in, my own,"
said Staff Sgt. Anthony Fuller.

Fuller is a Marine and although he traveled to Knoxville as part of his job, his family is close behind driving from North Carolina for the duration.

These military men and women say,even though their homes are in the path of the storm, this is all part of their job and what they signed up to do.