The humble heroes of the “Cajun Navy” have burst into action, rescuing many of those trapped by the fierce storm surges of Hurricane Florence. Their mission statement is very simple: “We don’t wait for the help, We are the help!”
They certainly lived up to their motto Friday morning, coming to the aid of some 160 people who were stranded in North Carolina. Using their own fleet of boats and drawing on a plethora of expertise and experience, the group fished residents, some of whom were clinging to the tops of their cars, out from the flooded streets.
“The tide came up really strong — five to eight feet, they’re saying — and a lot of the people did not get out … got stuck in conditions on the roads,” Todd Terrell, the founder of group, which was set up after Hurricane Katrina, recalled to ABC News. “So a lot of people we were rescuing from the tops of their vehicles.”
Footage of the dramatic rescue has emerged on Twitter:
— Reed Timmer (@ReedTimmerAccu) September 14, 2018
“The current is way stronger in this one and the water came up like in minutes,” Terrell said of the storm’s massive surge. “Two to three feet of water came up within minutes.”
Treading water checking 911 calls. For those that were asking how they could donate, you can do so at http://louisianacn.com
Posted by Louisiana Cajun Navy on Friday, September 14, 2018
At one point, the storm became so fierce that even the Cajun Navy’s hi-tech watercraft were rendered useless, and the group were forced to resort to using air mattresses to “float people out.”
“The winds were so high, we couldn’t get [the boats] in there because the winds were toppling them and it was making it unsafe for us, so we had to use a couple of air mattresses and float people out,” Terrell said.
In addition to launching life-saving rescue operations, the Cajun Navy, made up of an army of volunteers, also provides crucial safety updates to those battling through the storm.
Please only go in your attic as a last resort. If you must go in your attic bring something that can cut through your roof. Attics are not safe during floods. #HurricaneFlorence #FlorenceNC #CajunNavy #cajunnavyrelief
— CajunNavyRelief (@CajunNavyRelief) September 14, 2018
“We have the resources … to go and help these people and help save lives and just make it a little bit easier for everybody,” Jordan Bloodsworth, a member Baton Rouge chapter of the Cajun Navy, told Fox & Friends Friday.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 14, 2018
To learn more about the group, or to offer financial support, you can visit their website here.
(H/T: ABC News)