Weekly Photo Challenge – Gone but not Forgotten II

The bridge on this rural road is passable, however the approaches are flooded.

The bridge on this rural road is passable, however the approaches are flooded.

This week, the photo challenge prompts me to enter a second post featuring images depicting “Gone but not Forgotten.” You can view the entire challenge post here. The photos in this gallery depict flooding in North Dakota in 2009. In the last couple of decades, North Dakota and Minnesota have experienced severe spring flooding along some of their major rivers and tributaries. The flooding is gone now, but clearly as spring approaches, the potential for major disaster is not forgotten. Preparations for future flood mitigation are a year-round task for state, county and local emergency services agencies.

When water is high enough, the bridge acts like a dam holding back floating ice. Ice damming can create localized flooding upstream.

When water is high enough, the bridge acts like a dam holding back floating ice. Ice damming can create localized flooding upstream.

Hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours make up a flood fight, even in small states. As a volunteer flight crew member for the Civil Air Patrol, I have spent many personal hours as pilot, observer or photographer during many hours of image sorties funded through the North Dakota Division of Emergency Services. One of the major goals of these image sorties is to provide state emergency services personnel with visual information as to river conditions that could help forecast problems for communities down river. To that end, sorties typically focus on flying along the banks of the target river looking for ice dams, breakouts and other signs of impending disaster.

An earthen dam outside a small community was in danger of failing due to the spillway being washed away.

An earthen dam outside a small community was in danger of failing due to the spillway being washed away.

Civil Air Patrol flight crews are all volunteers and typically consist of a crew of three in a four-passenger aircraft, typically a Cessna 182. The pilot’s duties are obvious. The observer sits next to the pilot and is responsible for communication with Civil Air Patrol Incident Command Posts and state agencies as well as assisting the photographer with notations as to the location and details of images captured. The photographer sits in the rear seat behind the pilot and takes images through a camera port, a small window that opens to allow a clear view of the terrain below for the camera lens.

On the way to an exercise, I tested the camera and systems by taking a self portrait.

On the way to an exercise, I tested the camera and systems by taking a self portrait. The mirror is mounted outside the aircraft on a wing strut.

I submit for your approval a small gallery of images I captured during some of my photo missions as photographer in 2009. All images reproduced here are property of North Dakota Division of Emergency Services and used with permission. Click on one of the images to enlarge it and to scroll through the gallery.

To find out more about Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and how you can volunteer in the three major missions of the United States Air Force Auxiliary, visit their website here. You don’t need to be a pilot, and volunteers with technical and photography skills are always needed. Use the “Find a squadron near you” link on their home page and visit a CAP meeting.

 

John Steiner

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4 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Gone but not Forgotten II

  1. Pingback: Steve: The Apple (Orange) of My Eye | Ramisa the Authoress

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