La. Wing Photography Assists in Post-Storm Casket Search
Lt. Col. Amos Plante
Public Information Officer
The Louisiana Wing carried out a new and unusual mission last week – helping the coroner of storm-devastated Cameron Parish find caskets washed out of their above-ground vaults by Hurricane Laura’s surging floodwaters.
A wing aircrew took photographs showing the extent of damage to 26 cemeteries, then turned the images over to parish officials.
Patrick Hebert, a volunteer working under the direct supervision of the parish coroner, said airboats and marsh buggies will be used to retrieve the displaced caskets. “Most of the terrain is very difficult and dangerous to get through, and I think an aerial view makes the most sense,” said Hebert, who first contacted the Louisiana Wing for assistance.
“Although a little unusual, this mission is just the sort of thing we’re ready to take on,” said Lt. Col. Mickey Marchand, the wing’s Hurricane Laura incident commander.
The wing has been providing aerial images of the hurricane’s impact for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local officials since Aug. 30.
Acting as a Total Force partner and the U.S. Air Force auxiliary, CAP is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to nonmilitary threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.