A year after some Louisiana residents, dubbed the Cajun Navy, used their boats and smartphones to help their own neighbors in historic floods, the volunteer fleet was granted clearance to assist in Harvey rescue efforts in Houston, Texas.
Social media accounts belonging to portions of the all-civilian Cajun Navy announced late Sunday that storm chasers and boaters were making their way to the Houston metro area with the approval of local authorities.
Organizers for a navy Facebook page announced some difficulty in mustering their full volunteer force due to poor road conditions, but are using their communication networks to help coordinate relief and recovery efforts online.
The Cajun Navy initially shined in the national spotlight when historic floods soaked whole portions of Louisiana in August 2016. Breitbart Texas reported at the time that its members do not rely on organized fundraising and instead each vessel is paid for out-of-pocket. The Cajuns adhere to the motto, “We don’t wait for the help, we are the help.”
In 2016, the group utilized a digital CB radio-styled platform called Zello to maintain a dispatch system when a stranded resident was in need of rescue. Each boat crew carried a uniform law enforcement officer to ensure proper lines of communication and authority were kept. In the early days of the Louisiana floods, the navy managed to utilize more than 350 private boats to save “thousands” of lives, a group spokesman told Breitbart Texas.
The arrival of the Cajun Navy is well-timed. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on Sunday tweeted a call for more high water vehicles and boats from local residents willing to assist in community rescue efforts, Breitbart Texas reported.