Guest post from Louisiana, The Cajun Navy to the rescue!

I’m sure you’re aware of the devastation in south Louisiana, my homeland, from the relentless rain causing a 1,000 year flood.  News from my extended family is “We’re all high and dry,” but many, many were not.

The Cajun culture, accustomed to self-sufficiency after 250 years of isolation, could not let their neighbors suffer.  Emergency services were soon overwhelmed.  In a characteristic show of unity. volunteers jumped into their boats and sailed down the streets to rescue people, pets and precious possessions.

My sister, Rev. Edie DeVilbiss, travels all over south Louisiana visiting congregations and has a first-hand look at the impact of this natural disaster.  Her blog, Transformative Love, witnesses the transformative power of God’s love in action and profiles the many volunteers that step up when crisis appears.

So, for first-hand account, here is a guest post from her blog:


The Cajun Navy Rescue Volunteers
By Edie DeVilbiss on Aug 27, 2016 07:06 am
Sometimes a volunteer opportunity just shows up. And it turns out that some people have just the skills and equipment necessary to help. We had an epic flood in South Louisiana last week. Emergency services were overwhelmed with the need. At first, they tried to turn down the fishermen and hunters who were stepping up to rescue neighbors and strangers. But, the government officials relented when the need out ran the resources rather quickly.

Flat bottomed boats, pirogues, rowboats, and motorboats operated by the men who hang out on the bayous and in the swamps fishing and hunting showed up and got the job done. About 20,000 people and their pets have been rescued in the past week. Rob Gaudet, the de facto head of the Cajun Navy, estimated that the volunteers helped 20% of them.

They worked tirelessly to grab people out of homes filling with water. They faced alligators, snakes, downed power lines, and unseen obstacles beneath the waves. And, they got the job done with grace and kindness.

The Cajun Navy utilized current technology to make this happen. There were two apps pressed into service, one called Glympse and the other Zello. Glympse is a GPS locator, usually installed by anxious parents. Zello is a walkie-talkie app. The group coordinated their efforts with these tools. They worked in conjunction with law enforcement and the National Guard.

Mr. Gaudet wrote the following on The Cajun Navy Facebook page:

“This ‘thing’ called the Great Flood, as horrible as it is, birthed the Cajun Navy.

Instead of a media world where we often feel like simple pawns in a game of global chess and have no control.

We were empowered.

The Great Flood forced us (members and non-members alike) to do what we should have been doing all along. Focusing on what’s really important in all of our lives. Helping our communities, saving our neighbors and finding ourselves again.

In the midst of it we figured out how to celebrate the good in humanity and by doing so we regained control of our lives.

And we became better people.”

This sums up what I believe about volunteering to help our neighbor.

Thank you, Cajun Navy.

Please feel free to share this post!
The post The Cajun Navy Rescue Volunteers appeared first on Transformative Love Project.


For more on The Cajun Navy and for a look at a lot of water, check out these articles in the national press:

Wall Street Journal


Huffington Post

video from The Weather Channel

2 Replies to "Guest post from Louisiana, The Cajun Navy to the rescue!"

  • Judy
    September 5, 2016 (4:58 pm)

    Thank you for sharing this. It was touching to hear and see how people helped each other!

    • Debra
      September 5, 2016 (8:07 pm)

      Thanks for your comment, Judy! I find the depth of compassion amazing when humanity is put to the test.

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