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The ‘Cajun Navy’: Who Are These Cajun Heros Helping in Texas?

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If you’ve seen the news this week – and honestly, who hasn’t been glued to the news, watching the horrific conditions that Hurricane Harvey has left the Gulf Coast – then you’ve probably heard mention of the “Cajun Navy.” This group of volunteers has been out in force, rescuing people from roofs and pulling people to safety. Who is the Cajun Navy and where did they come from?

Formed During Hurricane Katrina

Cajun Navy boat

Photo: Facebook/LaCajunNavy

The Cajun Navy was formed during the Hurricane Katrina relief in New Orleans in 2005. It’s comprised of volunteers from Louisiana who have their own boats. These boats are not like the highly secured, fancy Coast Guard boats. By and large, the Cajun Navy boats are fishing boats, hunting boats and kayaks – usually camouflaged for duck hunting – and small but mighty. In times of flooding disasters, any boat helps. Often, these smaller boats are just what is needed to navigate in shallow waters around flooded homes and deliver residents to higher ground.

After Hurricane Katrina, more people joined the organization, and the group would routinely activate when they felt their help was needed. By the time Louisiana was overtaken by statewide flooding in 2016, the Cajun Navy claimed to have over a thousand members.

Deployed Before FEMA in 2016 Floods

Cajun Navy members

Photo: Facebook/LaCajunNavy

During the floods that impacted Louisiana in 2016, the Cajun Navy was deployed before even FEMA was involved. Being local and well-equipped to maneuver without the restraints of government intervention helps the Cajun Navy to jump into action almost immediately, which proved invaluable during Louisiana’s flooding last year.

Using mainly social media to communicate and receive pleas for help, the Cajun Navy has over 70,000 people like their Facebook page and a very active Twitter following as well. This is helpful in the wake of disasters as it makes it easier to get the word out for help. Social media was the primary way that people got word to the Cajun Navy of people who needed their help.

Many Owe the Cajun Navy A Debt of Gratitude.

Cajun Navy LSU
Photo: Facebook/LACajunNavy

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