Hurricane Florence is the wettest tropical storm in the Carolinas, producing heavy rains and causing major flash flooding. On Friday, 14th of September, the hurricane made landfall and caused power outages to nearly 900,000 homes.
To help the utilities restore the power, at least 53 drone teams have been recruited. Drones can provide data from dangerous areas that are unsafe for human to reach. This data helps the teams to provide immediate assistance, identify and even fix damage caused by the storm.
Last year, while Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston, IBM helped the recovery efforts by using drones in order to determine if substations were damaged.
Despite the significant value of utility drones, there is a concern that other drones may interfere with the recovery efforts. Following this, North Carolina Governor asked the people to keep their drones on the ground. Additionally, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a notice warning drone owners and operators not to fly them in or near the disaster area, and restricted the drone operators that participate in the recovery efforts to an altitude of 200 feet above the ground.