Saturday, September 03, 2005

Air Mobile on the ground in Baton Rouge

Report submitted by Joe Hurston - Baton Rouge, LA, Sept. 3, 2005 5:479m (Central U.S. time)

We're in Baton Rouge! Knowing the absolute fluid nature of a disaster such as Katrina, we arrived ready for anything! Well, within minutes, we were greeted by my dear friend since High School, Dan Andrews and his wife Charlene. Within an hour, we had transportation and loaded our Vortex Voyagers TM for our staging area thanks to my niece Sean Mears and her friend Jeff. Truly, our Lord knows how to deploy His troops

We actually took off Titusville in our Cessna 337 at 5:37am. Doug Rodante took off from Orlando Country at 3:30am. Now listen to this. We flew straight to Baton Rouge. Doug flew from Orlando to Atlanta and picked up Tom Flaim and headed to Baton Rouge. While I was 5 miles from the airport, I heard Doug's copilot, Collin Sugars calling 7 miles out. The remarkable thing is that without planning this, the first two Air Mobile relief planes arrived within 2 minutes of one another!

Tom went straight to the EOC (Emergency Operation Center) near the airport. Our Florida Today reportes sat in on a news briefing and we were asking many questions about the situation both in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. From here, we attempt to be sensitive to the needs and deploy accordingly. At this time, our team is fanning out into several areas, including the emergency medical facilities set up on the LSU campus.

Moments ago, I heard from one of my cousins, Toni, who informed me that my Aunt was in critical situation and needed help asap. It's good to have a strong team that can work in many areas at the same time.

Bill Dunklee will be flying a Piper Aztec, thanks to Dr. Bob Lehton, founder of Servant Air Ministries. Bill will be bringing in another "12 Pack"(12 Vortex Voyagers TM and 12 Battery Packs). My daughter, Cherie is arranging Bill's load. Bill will depart early tomorrow morning.

Wow, what a blessing to have so many, so willing to help!!

Just heard from Cindy in Thailand. She and Barbara are well and going among the Acah Indians of Thailand today.

We'll write more this later today, if we are able. As you can see, things are moving fast and in many directions.

Joe and Team