The Cajun Navy to the Rescue in Hurricane Florence

With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolinas, the Cajun Navy is roaring back to life, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

The loosely-affiliated group of boat owners has been around for years, helping victims of Hurricane Katrina, but they gained prominence after Hurricane Harvey, where they made more than 35,000 rescues.

Organizer Taylor Fontenot tells News Radio 1200 WOAI, since then, their ragtag group of good Samaritans has exploded in popularity that goes well beyond the gulf coast.  

Now, they're mobilizing to help victims of Hurricane Florence

"I think there are about 500 to 700 boats under my command coming in from all over the country.  It's going to be wild," he says.

A second wave of boat owners from the Houston area are arriving at a staging point today. They'll be joined by 200 boats from the northeast and more from Detroit, Ohio, Georgia and Tennessee, he says.

Unlike most major charities, which have fundraising arms, he says they take donations over Facebook and paypal.  

Fontenot says people want to help, and they take anything and anyone.

"It's washing our clothes.  It’s hot meals.  It’s fresh socks. It’s stupid things that make us allow us not to worry about anything but search and rescue."

After Hurricane Harvey, many rescue organizations were kept at arm’s length from the heavily damaged areas over safety concerns.  The Cajun Navy is nimble enough to get assistance to those who need it the most.

Fontenot says he's dipped heavily into his savings account to go on these missions.  And he's not alone.  Other members of the Cajun Navy have too.Donations can be made through links on their Facebook page.

IMAGE: GETTY

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