1/15/1999–Owings Mills, MD–On January 15, 1999 one of the worst ice storms in 50 years hit the state of Maryland. When it was over, more that 250,000 families from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore were without power for several days. The Red Cross moved immediately to set up emergency shelters. Since many of their volunteers were out of power themselves, and the disaster area was so wide spread, they requested assistance from the Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol.
The focus area was the city of Baltimore and its suburbs. Two shelters were set up, one at Cockeysville Elementary School and one at Owings Mills High School. At 9:00 P.M. Jan 15, Capt. Susan Morrison CAP, Mission Coordinator, issued a call for volunteers. Members from the Frederick and Mount Airy Squadrons answered the initial call and reported to the Red Cross headquarters at Owings Mills. Two seniors and 3 cadets remained at the Owings Mills location while 3 seniors and 1 cadet went to the Cockeysville location. During the night a total of 56 persons ranging in age from 6 months to 90 years reported to the Owings Mills Shelter while only one person arrived at the Cockeysville shelter. At the Owings Mills shelter there were 5 persons, all in wheel chairs from a nursing home. The senior members provided security for the shelter while the cadets assisted with moving the wheelchair-bound persons to and from the cafeteria, getting them into bed, and any other help that was requested of them. On Sat. Jan 16 the shelters were consolidated to the Owings Mills location.
From 11:00 PM the night of Jan. 15 until 11:00 AM Monday Jan 18, seniors and cadets from Frederick Composite Squadron, White Marsh Composite Squadron, Carroll Composite Squadron, Martin State Composite Squadron and Mt. Airy Composite Squadron worked 12 hour shifts providing around the clock assistance to the Red Cross. Two Cadets, Cadet Sgt Steve Sakadales and Cadet Airman David Staub of the Mt. Airy Composite Squadron were given chapter pins from the Carroll County Red Cross for serving 36 and 24 hours respectively out of the total of 60 hours that the Owings Mills shelter was open. The Red Cross was very impressed and appreciative of the CAP response and expressed a interest in joining the CAP in joint exercises in the future.
This reporter does not know the names of all the seniors and cadets who participated in the effort otherwise they would be mentioned in this article but they all deserve a very big WELL DONE for their efforts!