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Send in the drones: thousands of UAVs to be deployed to help following Hurricane Florence

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Hurricane Florence has unleashed its wrath on the Atlantic coast, smashing North and South Carolina, killing at least 18 people, knocking out power, damaging 750,000 homes and otherwise causing chaos.

Although the worst of the storm has passed, widespread flooding remains and many people are still stranded and without power. Thousands of drones are soon expected to be taking to the skies as part of the states’ cleanup, rescue and recovery efforts.

Aviation International News spoke with Airbus Aerial President Jesse Kallman before the storm who told them: “There will be thousands of drone pilots out flying for this event for sure.”

Flooding in North Carolina.

What jobs will drones be doing in the Carolinas?

Restoring connectivity

It’s pretty hard to get by in a disaster zone without a means of communicating with others. We recently brought you the story of how AT&T and Verizon drones had assisted following Hawaii’s Hurricane Lane by broadcasting free mobile data from their COWs (Cellular on Wings) drones. Such drones can beam out a signal to a radius as large as 40 miles, meaning anyone in that zone could connect to those networks without charge. Verizon and AT&T are expected to be providing similar services in the Carolinas and elsewhere until regular cell sites are back up and running.

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