Volunteer 'Cajun Navy' Rescues Fellow Community Members Trapped by Louisiana Floods

One man says the typical volunteer is just an "everyday Joe" with a boat.

ByABC News
August 18, 2016, 12:05 PM

— -- Local volunteers who call themselves the Cajun Navy have come together to provide hope and support in Louisiana as the historic flooding continues to devastate their community.

Area residents are taking their boats on the water to search for and rescue people who have been trapped.

Warren Holmes, an Ascension Parish native, told ABC News today that he has been going out every day to rescue people from the rising floodwaters with the ragtag Cajun Navy.

"The true Cajun Navy is the everyday Joe that had a full-time job and had a boat at his house and then launched his boat at the side of the highway," he said. "I knew if I was the one who couldn't get out, there would be somebody who would come and get me. We are a people that stick together, take care of our own."

Holmes said he lost count of how many people the Cajun Navy has rescued. "One of the roads that we were on, I know that there was every bit of a thousand people, between all the boats," he said.

He added that volunteers make up 90 percent of the Cajun Navy. He said he, his son and his wife have gone out every day since Saturday to rescue others.

The Cajun Navy gets calls for help on social media, according to Holmes.

"Facebook was really the big way of finding out who needed help and where people were," he said.

Holmes added that he was concerned that some groups have been trying to monetize the Cajun Navy by asking for money online.

"Its really disheartening to know that some people have tried to monetize this, but we were just there to save lives and get people out of those floodwaters," he said.

He said he was very fortunate that his home has not been seriously affected by the flooding, but other members of the Cajun Navy have not been as lucky.

"There were a lot of people out here with the Cajun Navy and their houses were flooded," Holmes said, adding that there was "nothing they could do with their places, so they went out and rescued others."

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