CAP aircrews, ground teams documenting Okla. tornado destruction 100+ from Okla, Ark., Kan., Texas wings involved in damage-assessment missions
Capt. Rick Rutledge Public Affairs Officer
OKLAHOMA -- CAP aircrews are flying the Moore, Okla., tornado path to provide high-quality imagery to assess the damage, and ground teams are going block by block, house by house to document the destruction.
Oklahoma Wing aircrews have flown seven sorties, including two today, taking several hundred digital photos at the state’s request. Ground teams from the Oklahoma and Kansas wings, at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are taking photos of every residence affected by the storm.
Additional ground teams are responding from the Texas and Arkansas wings to assist in that task.
“The damage is difficult to see and process,” said Maj. Sam Ory, ground team leader for the initial response and commander of the Starbase Composite Squadron. “Before you get here and witness it, you really can’t imagine a storm causing this destruction.”
The damage path in the Moore vicinity is estimated to be 17 miles in length and up to almost 2 miles wide, with debris scattered more than 3 miles from ground zero.
CAP members from the Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Missouri and Pennsylvania wings have offered to help as well.
Immediately following the tornadoes, members of the Oklahoma Wing’s Cleveland County, Edmond and Flying Castle composite squadrons responded in numbers. They assisted in search and rescue in the hardest-hit areas and provided temporary communications support to the city of Moore and logistics support in the staging areas.
“More than 100 members from four wings are assisting with air and ground team efforts, and the number of requests is growing by the hour,” said Lt. Col. Russell Davis, wing vice commander and CAP’s incident commander for the Oklahoma tornado response.
“CAP’s unpaid professionals are ever vigilant, trained and ready to serve our fellow citizens when disaster strikes. Additional CAP volunteers from across the nation will join forces with us, as needed, to get the job done,” Davis said.