After Hurricane Harvey, drones were flying all over the Coastal Bend to help with rescues, deliver medical supplies, and assess storm damage.
The Port of Corpus Christi used drones to survey damage along the ship channel, working with a private company and also using drone images captured by the Corpus Christi Fire department, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi’s Lone Star UAS Center.
“In the Port of Corpus Christi, we were looking to see what was in the ship channel. We found boats there, so obviously you need to know that before you start to open the channel,” said Luis Cifuentes, Vice President for Research, Commercialization and Outreach at TAMU-CC. “Drones give people a visual observation, with a certain level of precision that you can’t do with other systems. . If you are trying to observe what the damage has been for various reasons, it gives you a level of detail that is difficult to find with the human eye.”
The TAMU-CC team is also helping establish FAA and government regulations for drones. All the information they gathered while flying drones around the Coastal Bend after Hurricane Harvey will now help determine best practices for using drones in emergencies.