Doppler radar of Hurricane Harvey Image: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

C-drones monitor Hurricane Harvey damage

Emergency response

As Texas struggles with the most serious flooding in memory in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, c-drones are in the air surveying the extent of floods and damage to infrastructure.

AT&T has deployed a fleet of 25 c-drones to monitor cellphone towers in the Harvey hurricane area.

Major insurers in Texas such as Allstate and Farmers Insurance will shortly launch drones to assist in claims processing. Adjusters can inspect property damage far faster with c-drones compared to walkarounds.

Over a quarter of a million drones have been registered with the FAA since regulations were relaxed last June, and Harvey is a real-world test of the usefulness of c-drones in rainy, windy conditions. That said, helicopter pilots have expressed concern, as they often fly at low altitude when surveying flooded areas or in search and rescue.