September 15, 2008
By AOPA ePublishing staff
Photos: Kirt Chouest
Located southwest of New Orleans and about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, Houma, La., suffered blows from hurricanes Gustav and Ike less than two weeks apart.
“Two hurricanes back to back is a bit much for anybody to bear,” wrote AOPA member Jerry Gonsoulin on Sept. 14, just two days after Hurricane Ike blew through. “We had the eye of Gustav with about 110- to 120-mph winds and very little flooding. But with Ike we had 50- to 60-mph winds for a longer period of time and have had terrible flooding.”
The city’s airport, Houma-Terrebonne, is serving as a staging ground for general aviation relief operations now that the floodwaters that covered Runway 12/30 and the south end of Runway 36 have receded. The tower, which had been operating part-time with a generator, is functioning normally again.
Gonsoulin reports that several hangars received minimal damage from flooding, but only a few T-hangars on the field were destroyed.
Gonsoulin has been using his Robinson R44 to help families survey the damage to their homes. He said helicopters have also ferried workers to oilfield equipment that is inaccessible by ground vehicles. Seaplanes and helicopters have also provided transportation for the local media to cover the damage.
The Air National Guard is using Chinooks to haul sandbags to fix some levee breaks before the floodwater in the town can be pumped out.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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