A small Charleston-area airport is collecting hurricane relief supplies to airlift to flood-stricken areas in North Carolina and South Carolina after Hurricane Florence.
Mount Pleasant Regional Airport, operated by Charleston County Aviation Authority, is the central command post for the effort.
Retired Air Force Col. Julie Grundahl, a flight instructor, is spearheading the relief effort along with local volunteer pilots and community help.
“We will fly a couple of times a day to small general aviation airports as long as there is a need,” Grundahl said.
In addition, general aviation pilots from Florida will stop at the airfield in northern Mount Pleasant to refuel and pick up relief supplies for transport.
Operation Airdrop, a Texas nonprofit formed after Hurricane Harvey in 2017, coordinates volunteer aircraft owners and pilots to deliver essential supplies to disaster areas quickly.
Mount Pleasant town councilman and pilot Joe Bustos, who owns Mount Pleasant Flight Training, and pilots Sebastian Castro and Mike Zimmer are helping.
The airport will serve as a drop-off location 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily for items the pilots will deliver. Hangar space has been donated to store relief supplies.
The relief effort will accept the following items: baby items such as diapers, clean and usable clothing, batteries, toiletries, dry food goods, non-perishable food and bleach. Due to weight considerations, the pilots flying the small general aviation planes will not transport bottled water. Donations are tax deductible.
“As a coastal state, we know all too well the devastation a hurricane can do. This is just one small way to lend support,” Aviation Authority CEO Paul Campbell said. “Our neighbors in North and South Carolina would be there for us. We will be there for them.”