As historic flooding continues in the upper Midwest due to rain and snow melt, rising waters downstream on major rivers such as the Missouri and Mississippi are starting to affect southern states including Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. Members and aircraft of the Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, in these states are again providing needed support to their communities as the potential for extensive flooding worsens.
On Monday, aircrew from the Missouri and Illinois Wings were tasked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region 7 to begin ongoing aerial photo reconnaissance flights of flooding along the upper Mississippi River near Keokuk, Iowa, as well as the status of key infrastructure along the river such as dams, locks, bridges, and water treatment facilities.
Two CAP aircraft, one from each wing, flew over the swollen river and provided a total of more than 100 photographs to FEMA documenting the effect along the river banks as well as providing a visual baseline so that Federal officials can monitor the flood’s impact over time. These missions will continue as the flooding continues downstream.
“Our members continuously train for missions such as these and are ready when the call comes,” said Lt. Col. Carolyn Rice, mission incident commander. “Unfortunately, flooding is a slow process as it moves downriver but we’re prepared for a marathon and not a sprint. This give us more time to mobilize additional resources if needed, such as the great assistance by Illinois Wing.”
Both wings are preparing additional aircrew and ground team support as the flooding develops.