Camp Lejeune could be near Florence’s bulls-eye

National
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Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit command element participate in a beach run on Onslow Beach at Camp Lejeune, N.C., August 10, 2018. The run was followed by a bar-b-que and intended to build comradery among the Marines prior to deployment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tawanya Norwood)

ATLANTA (AP) — Hurricane Florence appears to be taking aim at the largest U.S. Marine Corps base on the East Coast.

Camp Lejeune has an extensive beachfront about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and it’s well within the National Hurricane Center’s forecast “cone.”

Credit: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

The hurricane’s path was still far from certain Monday. The rapidly intensifying storm could strike a direct and dangerous blow anywhere from the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic region later this week, possibly as a fearsome category 4.

If the center of the hurricane does come ashore in the Wilmington area, some of the strongest winds and rain could strike the sprawling Marine base since much of the worst weather will be in the northeast quadrant of the storm.

Camp Lejeune says in a statement that it’s urging personnel to prepare now, and will open shelters on the base if necessary.

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