Hundreds of Louisiana Flood Victims Owe Their Lives to the ‘Cajun Navy’

Over the past week, a massive rainstorm has hammered southern Louisiana, prompting the federal government to declare parishes across the state major disaster zones.

Referred to as a “1,000-year” flood by the National Weather Service, over 20,000 residents were left stranded, with at least seven already known to have been killed in the deluge.

With so many in need of rescue, CBS News reports that it wasn’t long before emergency responders became overwhelmed by the massive rescue effort.

In stepped a group known as the “Cajun Navy”:

Made up of local hunters, fishermen, and boaters, the members of the Cajun Navy have turned their personal vessels into a rescue fleet:

Refusing to sit idly by while their neighbors suffer:

Including those unable to call for help:

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Ok my furbaby prayer warriors we need your help. Fortunately New Orleans wasn't affected but our neighboring cities weren't so lucky. Particularly our first Louisiana home, Baton Rouge. This past weekend, several cities in Louisiana experienced traumatic flooding. Many lost everything they had. One of the hardest things I've had to read was the separation of pets and their owners. Some rescue boats didn't have enough room forcing many to leave their beloved pets behind. People have been banning together and rescuing as many pets as they can. The problem is that now the shelters are at capacity and are in dire need of foster families, supplies and volunteers. Please keep Louisiana in your thoughts and prayers. If you can make any donation at all, please comment or DM me and I'll direct you to shelters in need. Lastly let's take a minute to recognize the man in the top left picture. Not only did he jump into the water to rescue this woman from her sinking car but then dove back under when she said her dog was in the car too. What a hero! #louisianaflood #thegreatflood2016 #animalrescue #dogsofinstagram #petstagram #instadog #petoftheday #cutedogsofinstagram #topdogphoto #dailydogfeature #animalsofinstagram #dogrescues #horserecues #cajunnavy

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It isn’t just a ragtag group of locals, though:

Organizing at staging points and with the aid of social media:

The Cajun Navy moves to wherever help is needed:

Whether it’s in neighborhoods:

Or isolated stretches of highway:

And sometimes even right alongside their fellow military and government rescuers:

And this isn’t the first time that the people of Louisiana have relied on the selflessness of the Cajun Navy:

https://twitter.com/ANNIEMOHO/status/765349061922725888

Back in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina left regions of the state ravaged, these civilian volunteers didn’t hesitate to answer their community’s call:

Rescuing friends and neighbors regardless of race, religion, gender, or creed:

 

CBS News has more on these brave men and women:

In a time when politics and passions can make the U.S. seem truly divided, these images say more than anything else.

For the people of southern Louisiana, none of that matters — only the safety and well-being of their neighbors, regardless of whether they even know their names.

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