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How Drones Are Helping After Hurricane Laura

Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana last week with the destructive force of a Category 4 story.  Complete with a veritable downpour of rain and winds reaching upwards of 150mph, Hurricane Laura was the most intense storm to hit Louisiana in over 164 years.

Yet while its intensity outranked Katrina’s, Hurricane Laura didn’t cause as much damage as her predecessor. After the storm passed and dissipated, independent assessors were quick to determine how much damage was sustained by the state’s businesses, infrastructure, power, and homes. Preliminary reports estimate that Hurricane Laura has caused upwards of $12 billion in damages.

In the past, with hurricanes and other natural disasters, determining the whole extent of a community’s damage was a tedious and difficult affair. With communication towers down, relief efforts in flux, and flooding/debri blocking thoroughfares, figuring out what’s happened in the aftermath of a natural disaster has always been a headache. That’s where drones come in.

And it’s not just about surveying newsworthy glimpses of the disaster — drones are helping communities quickly assess cell tower damage to re-establish communication to citizens and relief personnel alike. Drones are also being used for their unique ability to fly past blocked routes and through buildings on the verge of collapse, giving first responders direct access to those who need their help the most.

But the perks of drone work is that faster, more accurate data can save lives as easily as it can save buildings, money, and time. Engineers and insurance companies are using drones in Louisiana to determine what can be saved, what needs replaced, and how to get communities back on their feet after Hurricane Laura swept through the Pelican state.

Thanks to advancements in drone technology, the state is recovering faster, smarter, and safer than ever.

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