The Louisiana floods are being called the worst U.S. natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy. While at least 13 people have died, around 60,000 homes have been damaged and 4,000 people still remain in shelters.
Those affected have fled their homes only with whatever belongings they carried on their backs, and others were stranded seeking help along with their pets and children.
Locals are not too happy with the way the Federal Emergency Management Agency has responded to the crisis. After nearly a week of flooding, the agency turned up with boats to rescue people. Their absence and accusations of slow response are being questioned.
But while FEMA was missing in action, an enthusiastic group people known as “the Cajun Navy” were seen in full force rescuing stranded neighbors in the flood hit area.
I was able to get one picture of Chris rescuing people. He worked so hard for 3 days straight getting people to dry land, not even thinking about himself. Didn't take 1 break, not to eat or anything. So proud to call him my husband. #cajunnavy #wesurvived #1000yearflood #saintamant #louisiana #southlouisiana
“People just came out in full force. And not just Cajuns — people from Mississippi, people from up north,” said Lafayette area resident Shawn Boudreaux.
Crazy to think this time last week we were saving people from the flood waters I'm ready to get things back to the way they were we all need to stick together and get this community back on its feet!!!!! #louisianastrong #brproud #flood2016 #swampassassin #swampassassinfamily #beardgameisstrong #cajunnavy #prodrive @oleswamppossum @billyjoesmithiii @bassbucknduck @swampassassin 💯💯💯💯💯🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
Bordeaux himself has been busy coordinating Cajun Navy volunteers. Apparently, a call for help went out on a social network, and around 100 of these good Samaritans responded with their rescue efforts.
“People showed up with water, Gatorade, food trucks and a line of boat captains ready to go,” Boudreaux said. “People even brought ethanol-free fuel to help the captains.”
“All of a sudden before the feds could react, we got thousands of boats in the water, with locals helping each other,” said Kevin “Chef KD” Dietz.
“A lot of what we’re living with now is unprecedented,” Dietz said. “People didn’t get flood insurance. It wasn’t required; they’d never saw water on their property. And in a 24-hour span, the water started rising 5 inches an hour, 10 inches, a foot an hour.”
But what matters really now is the fact that the community has come together to help loved ones and strangers alike. The kind group of volunteers is taking control of the situation by giving whatever they have to make lives easier for those who’ve lost their home and belongings to the floods.