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Job not over for Cajun Navy in North Carolina

Posted: 6:01 PM, Sep 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-19 21:13:03-04

Many volunteers of ‘Cajun Navy Relief’ are returning home from the Carolinas today.

About 120 members brought a fleet of boats to focus their efforts in two North Carolina towns, but for some, the job is not over.

As Hurricane Florence’s rains started to end in Southeastern North Carolina, the catastrophic flooding began.

Louisiana’s ‘Cajun Navy Relief’ teamed up with the city of Lumberton.

“We go to places where we think people may be forgotten about. Where maybe they might not have the assets of a larger city. For example, Lumberton, 21,000 people there. Most of them did not evacuate. Most them did not have the means to evacuate,” Cajun Navy Relief Co-Founder Damien Callais.

A secondary levee made from sand just days before ruptured and caused flooding in about a thousand homes and businesses.

The most memorable call for Callais was to evacuate a nursing home with 42 elderly residents living in it.

“It was a pretty sticky situation with the rain. Basically, the place was being inundated with water. And, ambulances could not get to the place. So we had to go in there with our trucks and boats to evac this place and clear it out,” explained Callais.

About half of the amount of ‘Cajun Navy Relief’ volunteers are still in North Carolina.

Such as Monroe member, Allen Lenard.

“We’ve just moved up to Maxton which is North West of Wilmington. It seems that places that did not flood immediately when the storm made landfall are now starting to flood. Secondary dams and rivers and tributaries are starting to flood and back up,” said Lenard.

Lenard plans to offer help with his truck and airboat for as many weeks as it takes for the flooding to go down.

“You know this waterfalls in one place and rises in another. Falls in another and rises in another. You know, it’s the same water just leaving one place and going to another. So, we’re chasing the water pretty much, trying to get ahead,” explained Lenard.

At this point, the Carolinas are the furthers the Cajun Navy has traveled to assist with rescues while representing Louisiana.