A lot of people don’t realize that Wake Island is a part of the Hawaiian Islands. The northwest Hawaiian islands stretch all the way to Wake. Islands include Lehua, Necker, French Frigate Shoals, Nihoa, and others. Nearly all are uninhabited.
A Category 4 storm is heading toward Wake Island in the western Pacific Ocean.
Wake Island has a long history. The site of a famous battle in World War II, it has been controlled by the U.S. Air Force since 1972. Two hundred people on the island maintain a base for combat aircraft and emergency airfield.
Wake Island has never been evacuated in the time it has been controlled by the Air Force. But the current track of the storm, named Ioke, takes it within 13 miles of Wake Island, according to officials at Hickam Air Force Base.
Two Air Force C-17 Globemaster cargo jets are being readied at Hickam Air Force base to fly to Wake Island to get everyone off the island before the storm surge hits. They are installing more seating, galleys and bathrooms so each can carry more than 100 passengers.
The planes were scheduled to depart early Monday morning. The evacuees were scheduled to return back to the Air Force base by midafternoon Monday, officials said.