Members of the ‘Cajun Navy’ have set out from Louisiana with their private boats to help the rescue efforts in Texas after Hurricane Harvey flooded parts of the state.
The ‘Cajun Navy’ is a volunteer group of hundreds of boat owners who came together to help out their community during the Louisiana flood in the summer of 2016.
On Sunday, the Houston Police Department made a call for volunteers on Twitter asking people with boats to call a number and help the department out.
Members of the ‘Cajun Navy’, a volunteer group from Louisiana, have set out with their private boats to help the rescue efforts in flooded areas of Texas as thousands of residents are asking for help in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Pictured: Residents being helped in Houston
The ‘Cajun Navy’ is a volunteer group of hundreds of boat owners who came together to help out their community during the Louisiana flood in the summer of 2016
By then, Twitter user @MaeMae posted a picture of a caravan of trucks with boats on their trailer hitches on Sunday, saying: ‘#Houston Hang on. The CAJUN NAVY is already activated and on the way’.
Jon Bridgers Sr, an organizer for the Cajun Navy 2016 Facebook page had said the group was planning ‘a large push’.
‘It’s just something we have to play by ear a bit and see how the weather cooperates,’ he told WAFB.
Though Bridgers himself tried to make it to Houston, the roads were impassable about 40 miles outside the city.
Other members of the ‘Cajun Navy’ continued into the city, but Bridgers himself decided to stay in Louisiana to answer calls and manage the Facebook page, which ‘is crazy right now with messages’ from Texans asking for help, he said.
People use a boat to evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston on Sunday
Keith Corder helps evacuate Dickinson, Texas, residents on his boat Sunday. Dickinson is just more than 30 miles south of Houston
Since Thursday some parts of Houston have already received 25 inches of rain and some suburbs have gotten 27 inches.
The National Weather Service issued a forecast saying the city could get as much as 50 inches, which would be the highest amount ever recorded in Texas.
‘The breadth and intensity of this rainfall is beyond anything experienced before,’ the National Weather Service said in a statement.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a press conference Sunday that authorities have received more than 2,000 calls for help with more coming in.
Rescuers had to give top priority to life-and-death situations, leaving many affected families to fend for themselves. And several hospitals in the Houston area were evacuated due to the rising waters.
Kyle Johnston, left, and Toby Phillips help Cindy Miller into a boat in Dickinson Sunday
Neighbors are using their personal boats to rescue flooded Friendswood, Texas, residents Sunday. Friendswood is more than 20 miles south of Houston
A post from Gary Davis on a Hurricane Harvey Facebook page called for addresses and phone numbers of people who need to be rescued in Dickinson, Texas.
‘This is what we need from YOU ALL. We are here to search and rescue. We are a well oiled machine but we need your help also. What we are looking for is addresses and CONTACT numbers of people who need to be rescued.
‘We have multiple boats enroute. We try to avoid going on blind missions so point of contacts and names are a must if you can. Please be patient with us we are here for you all. GOD BLESS TEXAS. We got your backs.’
Bridgers told WAFB that the images and messages coming from the affected areas of Texas bring back memories from flooding in Louisiana last summer.
‘Don’t give up hope. We’re coming as quick as we can,’ he said.