Local military aid for Texas relief

Homes are surrounded by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, in Spring, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – As search and rescue operations on the ground in Texas continue, armed forces here in Ohio are providing remote assistance.

With several miles of Texas under water, the Ohio Air National Guard are using satellite imagery to feed information to Texas to monitor infrastructure and to help save lives.

“Anytime there’s a disaster, the first thing people do is say ‘how can I help.’ And this is a way that we can help,” said Col. Rebecca O’Connor.

O’Conner said the 178th Wing is using satellite imagery and information from FEMA databases to provide “situation awareness” for crews on the ground in Texas.

“They can do imagery. They can do maps – even just text reports,” she said.  “Where are the hospitals? Water treatment facilities? And making sure that those critical infrastructures are operational. Are they flooded? So the incident commander down in Texas knows what’s going on.”

O’Conner said by giving crews in Texas a picture of what’s going on around them, crews on the ground in Texas can focus on other tasks.

“That frees up the resources in Texas to be able to do those critical tasks like search and rescue,” she said.

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