Cajun Navy Sets Sail to Rescue Flood Victims
They call themselves the Cajun Navy, the Coonass Navy or the Brotherhood Soul Patrol. By whatever name, they are an armada of volunteers met at a parking lot of the Home Depot in Baton Rouge where they would set said to rescue neighbors, friends, and strangers trapped by Louisiana floodwaters.
On this particular day, Monday, August 16th, there were 22-plus boats and loads of volunteers. There were boats, trucks, and trailers hauling equipment and personnel. There were dozens of people arriving without boats just wanting to assist in whatever way they could. Some are experienced in this type of work, some not. But they all work together.
Nothing, however, prepares you for cruising in the river (that used to be a road) in a small bass boat constantly changing direction as your boat’s engine propeller bangs loudly off of submerged cars.
“You better know what you’re doing,” Holmes said, “if you’re going to take the helm of a boat. It’s not pretty out there.”
And then there’s the devastation. It’s everywhere: people in trees, on roofs, clinging to anything that floats in a mixture of floodwater, gasoline, and sewage; pets scrambling frantically to stay afloat; furniture bobbing in the waves.
“Nothing prepares you for this, but you’ve got to do something,” said Shannon Holmes, who is from California but has lived here for a dozen years. “These people need us.”
h/t The Times-Picayune
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