A loose faction of volunteers and organizers known as the “Cajun Navy” sailed into Texas to help rescue flood victims this week. Dozens of citizens high clearance trucks and boats made their way across the border to help out
The online grassroots effort formed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. That’s when Texans with trucks and boats traveled to New Orleans to help rescue efforts. Now, these brave Louisianians are returning the favor.
READ MORE: How You Can Help Hurricane Harvey Victims
More than 250 members of the Cajun Navy Facebook group traveled to the Houston area recently. They and “Cajun Coast Search and Rescue Team” arrived in flood-drenched Houston on Sunday.
Their goal? Save as many people as they can.
First responders are inundated with thousands of calls. Citizen rescue teams like the Cajun Navy float through flooded streets plucking people out of the water and taking them to safety.
Cajun Navy member Jordy Bloodsworth told The Washington Post thousands of people still needed help. Some travel on makeshift rafts made of air mattresses. Others call for help from their flooded homes.
However, some of the rescuers also require help after flood waters overtake even the most well-prepared. And desperation turned some victims into would-be perpetrators.
One group almost had their boat stolen. Another faced gunfire after not responding to a group of stranded victims. “It wasn’t a surprise because we had some of the same things happen in the past,” Cajun Navy 2016 Facebook page founder Jon Bridgers told Chron.com. “You got a very limited number of people out there who would do something like that.”
A second group from Louisiana plans to travel to Texas Tuesday morning.
Hundreds of thousands of Texans lack power after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the area. Since the storm hit last week, thousands fled their homes. Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain in some areas. And unfortunately, more rain may be coming. Weak prevailing winds mean Harvey isn’t leaving the area. Some experts predict rains will continue through Thursday.
At least 15 are dead after Harvey. The area also faced billions of dollars in damages, which experts predict will take years to rectify. Ongoing rescue efforts remain the primary focus for officials right now.
If you want to help victims, the quickest way is with a fast donation to the American Red Cross.