Air Force sheltering equipment at Scott Air Force Base ahead of hurricanes

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – A large number of military aircraft from Charleston, South Carolina are being sheltered at Scott Air Force Base.

Twelve C-17 aircraft, valued at more than $200 million apiece, are coming from Charleston. On board one of the planes was a combat camera crew. They will document the work of the Air Force as they did during Hurricane Harvey.

Airmen leave behind family who are expected to evacuate to a safer place.

“It’s hard to leave our loved ones, but that’s our job here in the military; leave the ones we love to protect everyone else and their loved ones,” Tech. Sgt. Jose Rodrigues said.

The C-17s could be called on to deliver supplies, fly people out of devastated areas or help with medical rescues.

“The feeling is almost indescribable because the fact that you can go ahead and touch somebody’s life by merely taking supplies, let it be hurricane relief or medical help or evacuating them out of harm’s way. It’s one of the things not a lot of people get to do,” Lt. Col. Francisco Flores said.

While they rush in to danger, people who live in the path of the storm are leaving just as quickly. That’s what Mandy Malter and her two sons just did.

“I’m glad to be home. I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to be home,” she said.

Malter and her sons are from Collinsville. They went on a five-day cruise. It was wonderful. But when they got back to Miami, they learned their flight was cancelled. The airport turned into a living nightmare as they and others tried to find a flight out of Miami and out of the way of the hurricane.

“Pure hell, I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life. Chaos, exhausted; I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to be home,” Malter said.

The airline tickets were not cheap. Originally, Malter spent about $750 for return airline tickets, but they were cancelled. She had to spend another $2,500 for three tickets to make it back home​.