Williamsburg native Faith Davis among those evacuating from Marine base in SC as Hurricane Dorian approaches
If you’ve paid attention to the news at all in recent days, you are most likely aware of the fact that a major storm, named Hurricane Dorian, is rapidly approaching the southeastern United States. What you may not know, however, is that one of Williamsburg’s own, Faith Davis, is currently in the process of evacuating from a military base on Parris Island, SC along with many of her fellow Marines.
Davis, who ran track and cheered for Williamsburg High School until she graduated in 2017, left Kentucky for basic training in February of this year. She graduated into the Marine Corps this past June and has been stationed on Parris Island since earlier this summer. A recent mishap during physical training exercises resulted in her sustaining a fractured hip, but she reports that rehabilitation for the injury has gone well, and she should be back to full strength soon.
“The experience has definitely exceeded my expectations,” Davis said of becoming a Marine. “It’s like you’re part of this big team. You become part of something bigger than yourself.”
As for the ongoing evacuation efforts on Parris Island due to the looming threat of Hurricane Dorian, Davis said, “This is definitely the most interesting thing that’s happened to me yet. The whole place is basically like a ghost town.”
Davis explained that civilians on Parris Island received their orders to evacuate yesterday (Sunday). She, and the others with her on the military base, were informed earlier today that they would need to leave as well, and they are hoping to have everyone out by the end of the day tomorrow.
“We’ve been getting some heavy rain,” Davis said of the current conditions where she is.
When Davis and the other Marines on Parris Island leave, they will be bused to another base in Georgia. She said they will be issued MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), and will have all the other necessities such as bedding, clothes, etc. She said the hope is to be able to return to South Carolina by week’s end, but that depends entirely on just how much water makes its way onto the island.
Davis is hoping to make it back home by the end of this year to help the Marines with their recruiting efforts in our region.
As for Dorian’s status, the storm topped out as a category 5 hurricane on Sunday with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph. It was downgraded to a category 4 Monday, but winds are still in the 140-150 mph range.
Laurel County Schools Center for Innovation media arts instructor, and former WYMT-TV Chief Meteorologist, Shane Smith, said, “It does look right now to be going through a weakening stage. That is the official forecast, but predicting hurricanes is very tricky business. If it hits open water again, and the conditions are right, you could potentially see some rapid intensification before it reaches the United States.”
Dorian slammed the Bahamas last night and today with devastating effect. The storm will get close to the Florida coastline Tuesday afternoon, and if it stays on its current projected path it should make landfall near the Outer Banks in North Carolina either late Thursday, or early Friday.
Smith said the main concerns with this massive hurricane will be storm surge and heavy rains that will result in coastal flooding, plus damaging winds. He said the likelihood of Kentucky being impacted in any way by Dorian is “exceptionally low,” except for the slight possibility of some cloud cover or rain showers in extreme southeastern portions of the state.