With Eyes on Tropical Storm Gordon, Louisiana’s Cajun Navy Prepares to Respond
"We get the job done."
With Tropical Storm Gordon gearing up to strike the central Gulf Coast Tuesday night, the Louisiana Cajun Navy is gearing up too.
The Cajun Navy, a loose network of volunteer boat owners who assist in search and rescue operations, was formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This ragtag team of everyday heroes was reactivated in 2016 to help with the Louisiana floods, and then again during Hurricane Harvey, when their lifesaving efforts made headlines around the world.
Though still a tropical storm, Gordon has the possibility to reach hurricane strength by the time it makes landfall on the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, making it the first hurricane to threaten the continental United States this year. Now old pros, the Louisiana Cajun Navy is ready to mobilize if they're needed.
"The reality of another year of storms coming in is starting to sink in," Clyde Cain with the Louisiana Cajun Navy told KHOU. "It will be easier, because now we have formed more relationships. I've actually teamed up with FEMA. We have people volunteering from the Houston-area and Texas."
It's no secret that Cajun Navy operations would nothing without the generous donations that keep them afloat—in more ways than one.
"When we have a need, we just put it all out on video and it gets done," Cain added. "People want to give and want to help, they just lost faith in where to give. So, we just show them, through transparency and we get the job done."
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According to KHOU, several Cajun Navy communication channels are now listed on Zello, a smartphone app that functions like a walkie talkie. People are already coordinating boats, supplies and caravans.