South MS Civil Air Patrol members return from Puerto Rico

South MS Civil Air Patrol members return from Puerto Rico
(Photo Source: WLOX News Now)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Bill Henry, Randy Broussard, and Dayle Robinson are all members of Mississippi's Civil Air Patrol. They were one of the first CAP teams sent to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

When they arrived, they were handed a list of coordinates.

"Puerto Rico is about 90 by 30 miles, and we covered the majority of the island. Sometimes we would go to specific targets, other times we would just fly grids," said Henry, who is a mission pilot.

The goal - to gather data to assist with recovery efforts.

"We were tasked with aerial photography of roads, dams, bridges, trouble spots," said Broussard, who is the CAP Director of Emergency Services.

The mission: Send high-quality photos of the damage directly to disaster relief agencies.

"To allow assessment of the areas of damage so FEMA and other agencies can see exactly where to send their assets," Henry said.

The trio spent 10 days flying Cessna jets carrying out the missions.

"We pretty much covered the whole island with images; 20,000 photos," Broussard said.

Having been in the situation before, it was no-brainer to lend a helping hand.

"It's very similar to some of the damage we saw during hurricane Katrina, leveled to the ground, destruction," said Robinson, who is an aerial photographer.

They urge those stateside to help out any way they can to aid the long recovery.

"From what we saw there, imagine Katrina and then give what your heart will allow you to give," Henry said.

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