Alcoa, Tenn. -
The Tennessee Wing Civil Air Patrol is preparing to provide assistance to the east coast in anticipation of Hurricane Florence.
"We have alerted members of the Tennessee Wing and are waiting for deployment orders from the National Operations Center," said Tennessee Wing Commander, Col. Dent Young. "The Southeast Region Civil Air Patrol has set up a virtual incident command post and we have been communicating with members of the Middle East Region."CAP, the volunteer civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force with its headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, operates the nationís largest fleet of fixed-wing Cessna aircraft. CAP aircraft provides effective, low-cost options for aerial assessment of disaster areas and other search-and-rescue functions.
"All CAP wings in Southeast Region stand ready to support hurricane recovery efforts, whether on the mainland or in Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands," said Southeast Region Commander, Col. Barry Melton. "We especially want to support the Middle East Region since these folks came to our aid last summer during our response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. We stand ready to provide aerial imagery to state and federal agencies and can provide communications support, either on-site or from a remote location."
Florence, recently downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, is expected to make landfall tonight or early Friday near the North and South Carolina border. Major inland flooding, dangerous storm surge and destructive winds are expected during whatís predicted to be a slow advance across the Southeast into early next week. Along with the Tennessee Wing, CAPís Southeast Region includes the Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (St Croix and St Thomas). The Middle East Regions consists of North and South Carolina, Delaware, Maryland, National Capital, Virginia and West Virginia.