Published Thursday, 18 Sept 2008 in the San Antonio Business Journal
“The Texas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol has moved its Hurricane Ike mission base to Houston in order to make it easier to launch flights to photograph storm damage in Houston, Galveston and parts of East Texas.
Wing Commander Col. Joe Smith says the unit is moving from San Antonio to Houston to help expedite the Civil Air Patrol’s aerial damage assessment missions for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the 1st Air Force and the Texas State Operation Center.
The Texas Wing’s headquarters is based out of Waco. However, the base mission was originally set up at Stinson Airport in San Antonio because it was close to where Ike was expected to make landfall but not so close so that CAP planes and equipment might be damaged, says Steve Cox, a spokesman for the Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters in Alabama.
The Texas mission will now be housed at a hangar at the West Houston Airport. On Thursday, Civil Air Patrol will have 10 planes and about 65 individuals working at the temporary base. Before today, aircrews were flying from San Antonio, which is 180 miles from the base in Houston.
Since Hurricane Ike made landfall on the Texas coast on Saturday, Sept. 13, the Civil Air Patrol has been photographing flood damage throughout Texas and Louisiana.
Ike damaged thousands of homes and businesses along the Gulf Coast and knocked out power to more than 2 million customers. Some 30,000 residents are still being housed in emergency shelters until local officials have deemed it safe to go home.
Digital images of damaged roads, bridges and power lines are helping local, state and federal officials direct resources to help expedite recovery efforts. Photographs also are being posted onto a University of Texas Web site so that residents can see the extent of the flood damage.
John Salvador of Civil Air Patrol’s National Operations Center at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., says that aircrews flew 35 sorties over East Texas and Southwestern Louisiana.
The Civil Air Patrol serves as an official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. It performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue mission.”
To view Civil Air Patrol Photography of the effects of Hurricane Ike visit CAP Photography