Aerial Photo Missions Planned for Today Over Harvey-Slammed Areas
Dozens of Texas Wing Flights Scheduled for State & FEMA. The Texas Wing is scheduled to fly aerial imagery missions today for the state of Texas and the Federal Emergency Management Agency over the coastal areas first ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. CAP aircrews will fly over Corpus Christi, North Padre Island, Mustang Island, Rockport, Aransas Pass, Port Lavaca, Gregory and Portland.
The aircrews will depart San Marcos with a refueling stop in Alice, Texas, before taking photos of the affected areas. A total of 12 CAP flights are planned today. Aircrews will continue flying through the day, as long as the weather permits, said Lt. Col. Rick Woolfolk, incident commander.
“Our aircrews are glad to finally be in the skies, providing a clearer picture of the situation for both state and federal emergency management officials,” Woolfolk said.
Also today, a Texas Wing aircrew flew U.S. Air Force Col. Tami Rougeau from George Bush Intercontinental/ Houston Airport to Kelly Field Airport in San Antonio so she could begin operations as director of patient movement in the hurricane’s aftermath. The flight came at the request of Air Force Lt. Col. Gerard P. Guevara of the 601st Air Operations Command/Air Mobility Division.
Heavy rains accompanying Harvey have grounded CAP aircrews since the Category 4 hurricane made landfall Aug. 25.The state and FEMA will use the CAP imagery to assess damage to critical infrastructure and known resources.
About 1,000 of Texas Wing’s 3,200 members live along the Gulf Coast, from Brownsville to Houston, with the largest concentration in the Houston area. Houston and surrounding areas of south central Texas have been devastated since Monday, as unprecedented rainfall from Harvey, now classified as a tropical storm, has prompted historic flooding. CAP planes were moved out of the coastal areas before Harvey made landfall.
Meanwhile there is plenty of confusion on how to get involved…
Texas is asking volunteers not to self-deploy. Unexpectedly showing up will create an additional burden for first responders. The National VOAD says the situation may not be conducive to volunteers entering the impacted zone and individuals may find themselves turned away by law enforcement.
- Potential volunteers are asked to register with a voluntary or charitable organization of their choice, many of which are already in Texas and supporting survivors on the ground. The National VOAD and Texas VOAD websites are offering links to those who wish to register to volunteer with community- and faith-based organizations working in the field.
- To ensure volunteer safety, as well as the safety of disaster survivors, volunteers should only go into affected areas with a specific volunteer assignment, proper safety gear and valid identification.
- Volunteer generosity helps impacted communities heal from the tragic consequences of disasters, but recovery won’t happen overnight. There will be volunteer needs for many months, and years, after the disaster, so sign up now.