40,000 homes have been flood damaged and thousands of people have been displaced in the worst natural disaster in the U.S. in four years, but the residents of southern Louisiana are proving that not everyone needs the government to sweep in to save the day.
Cue the Cajun Navy.
An almost-all volunteer group of people, many of whom have lost property of their own, have been trolling the floodwaters of the Bayou State to rescue those who have not been reached by the U.S. Coast Guard, Louisiana National Guard, or other official search-and-rescue teams, according to ABC News.
Riding in their own boats and picking up volunteers, they aided in the rescue of 20,000 flood victims, and they're still out searching for more people who might need help. They're also, for the most part, not doing it for a dime.
According to one Cajun Navy Facebook page, the Cajun Navy does not even accept donations or have a GoFundMe account. They're just neighbors helping neighbors, and in some cases, complete strangers.
"People come together here like nowhere else," expressed Cajun Navy member Kirk Thibodeaux, who had already spent 36 hours rescuing people.
According to USA Today, Louisiana Cajun Navy Facebook page creator Clyde Cain said, “The reality of the Cajun Navy is everybody out here with a boat that isn’t devastated gets out and helps others. We’re just one big network.”
Timmy Toups, who helped form the navy, was surprised how quickly a fleet formed.
“A lot of it was hunting boats, shallow draft duck hunting boats with mud motors. Twenty-something foot boats with outboard motors. Airboats. Pirogues. Kayaks. You name it. Everybody was wide open, going at it.”
Praise the Lord for these folks willing to step up to help those in need!