Florida Civil Air Patrol photographs Matthew damage

Local pilots are taking to the skies to volunteer their services.

More than 100 pilots from the Tampa Bay area went high into the skies this weekend to help the victims of Hurricane Matthew.

“It was pretty severe. Houses knocked down. Floodwaters pretty high and houses underwater,” says Capt. Steven Powell with Civil Air Patrol’s Florida Wing.

Powell was shocked by the destruction left behind by Hurricane Matthew. He's just one of the many pilots with Civil Air Patrol's Florida Wing who are volunteering their time help storm victims.

“From the cadets as young as 12 years old to the adult members, we all take time off from work,” says Col.  Henry Irizarry.

Thousands of pictures were taken by the patrol and are given to FEMA, so it can assess the damage from a bird's eye view.

“And they're able to respond with the resources they need based on what they see,” says Powell.

Seven of their planes flew over 4 days and took over 15,000 pictures of the devastation Hurricane Matthew left behind.

CAP is a low-cost resource for FEMA since the pilots are volunteers, all they have to pay for is the fuel.

It costs $150 per hour to fly one of a Civil Air Patrol plane, another organization could charge $10,000.

“Personally, I feel like this needs to happen, If I wasn't doing this then I feel like I would be wasting my time,” says Cadet Lt. Col. Alexander English.

The Florida Wing pilots have flown 40 missions since Saturday.

“It's sad to see but it’s something that has to be done,” says Powell.

Their help priceless to the victims who've lost so much.

Right now, the Civil Air Patrol is still actively surveying damage across Georgia and the Carolinas.


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment