MIAMI - The U.S. military was helping to evacuate U.S. citizens from the Douglas-Charles Airport in Dominica Saturday.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria left the island nation like "a war zone."
As of Friday afternoon, the parents of some 250 students at the Ross University School of Medicine campus in Dominica had yet to hear from them, Fox News reported.
"We expect to use four boats throughout the day and move more than 450 students, faculty and staff and their families and pets today," the school announced on Facebook. "All of them will travel to St. Lucia for a short stay to receive lodging, food, medical and veterinary care, then will take a charter flight to southern Florida."
The U.S. military also deployed the U.S. Navy amphibious ship USS Wasp to assist with the evacuation effort in Dominica. The evacuations started after Hurricane Irma, but were suspended during Hurricane Maria.
The Department of Defense announced the military task force that was working in Dominica and St. Martin, under the U.S. Southern Command in Miami-Dade, was moving out of Puerto Rico to the islands of Martinique, Barbados and Guadalupe.
The move includes about 300 military personnel, eight helicopters and four C-130 Hercules aircraft. Hurricane Maria forced them to seek shelter at the Muñiz Air National Guard Base and U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico.
During the storm, some continued their work with French and Dutch authorities in St. Martin where the U.S. military has purified more than 22,000 gallons of water and distributed more than 7,000 gallons, according to the DOD.
They have also delivered nine water purification systems, high-capacity forklifts and vehicles to help the Dutch and French governments offload and distribute aid to the island’s residents.
The U.S. Northern Command in Colorado is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency response in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
Copyright 2017 by WPLG Local10.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.