About 70 members of the Texas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol will convene in Nacogdoches Saturday to conduct a disaster preparedness exercise.
The operation will be based at the A.L. Mangham Regional Airport, which serves as the statewide headquarters for the Texas Wing.
The exercise will simulate the Civil Air Patrol’s hurricane response, including aerial photography and a missing person’s search. Major Lorrie Tetlow of San Antonio says when the Civil Air Patrol is called up in a hurricane, the first job is to fly over the evacuation routes to assess the traffic situation.
“We don’t want thousands of cars and thousands of people being out there with no water or anything like with what happened after [Hurricane] Katrina. We fly the routes and make sure they’re clear to send people to," Tetlow said.
The Texas Wing took more than 40,000 aerial photos during Hurricane Ike, according to Tetlow. They were used to help state and federal leaders on the ground make decisions. Tomorrow, Nacogdoches residents may see aircrews flying red, white and blue Cessna aircraft over Nacogdoches and adjacent areas.