How to Move 96 Tons of Supplies into a Flood Zone. Operation Airdrop RDU

Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina in September 2018, leaving behind historic devastation and flooding that made many towns inaccessible by land. I-40 looked like a river instead of an interstate highway. Operation Airdrop, staged at RDU International Airport, provided much needed relief with dozens of private pilots flying supplies in, most using their own planes. I heard one generous and adventurous soul flew from Alaska in the plane he built himself.

Like hundreds of others wanting to help, I showed up at the airport one morning, with no idea how to help. Donations had been pouring in. Supplies were stacked everywhere. Volunteers were moving around like ants sorting, organizing, repacking boxes and filling carts to go be loaded on the next plane out. Yet, everything seemed to be under control.

I found the person in charge and asked if there was anything I could do as a photographer. An hour later I was on the Joe Gibbs Racing team jet, loaded with bottled water, food, diapers, cleaning supplies and a water filtration system, bound for Wilmington. In 5 days, over 96 tons of goods were also delivered to New Bern, Kinston, Jacksonville, Lumberton and other communities.

Charles Register is a North Carolina photographer and videographer with over 30 years experience producing quality, creative imagery for corporations, advertising agencies, magazines and small businesses in boardrooms, resorts and remote locations around the world.  Emphasis on travel and tourism, master planned communities, lifestyle, environmental portraiture, architectural photography, scenic landscapes and golf courses. Contact for assignments at 919 414.8235 or and please visit