Civil Air Patrol’s Florida Wing flew 10 sorties Sunday from operational bases in Tallahassee, Sarasota and Tampa to survey damage caused by Hurricane Matthew. Area Commander Lt. Col. Luis Garcia said the blue-sky weather over Florida was “allowing our members to effectively support aerial imaging and damage assessment” on the state’s east coast.
The wing captured more than 8,200 aerial images this weekend. Meanwhile, the wing continued efforts to relocate aircraft from the Florida panhandle to bases along the gulf coast.
Flights Sunday had photographed the perimeter of Lake Okeechobee in central Florida and the St. Johns River in the north. CAP aircrews had also completed an initial beach survey from the Miami-Dade area to the Jacksonville Beach area.
Other flights have been conducted to relocate aircraft and personnel, provide radio communication coverage and transfer equipment and supplies. Twelve reconnaissance flights are scheduled for Monday.
As of Sunday night, eleven ground sorties had been completed by the Florida Wing. Ground teams have been activated to relocate vehicles that were secured prior to the storm and to transfer equipment between bases.
"I feel like this is where all the training has led us,” said 2nd Lt. James Broadwell, a communications officer. “I feel like, for me, this is our payday. We're volunteers, but we're volunteers with responsibilities.
“The Air Force, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and CAP have entrusted us to do this. And, through our training, we have the ability to do this."