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The 'Cajun Navy' Heads Out To Rescue Flooded Baton Rouge Residents

A federal disaster has been declared in parts of south central Louisiana after that storm system that dumped 20 inches of rain and caused massive flooding before moving west. FEMA, the emergency agency, is in Louisiana now, but residents have been launching an emergency response since the weekend.

Civilian volunteers, including a Facebook community of hunters and fishermen, have been throwing their boats on the back of four-wheel drive trucks and rescuing people from completely different towns. It’s an extension of a movement founded during Hurricane Katrina known as the “Cajun Navy.”

Jared Serignéwas home watching the storm footage with his newborn when he remembered a friend who joined the Cajun Navy during Katrina and was inspired to go this time.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Serigné, who has been helping with rescues near Baton Rouge.

Here’s a video he took earlier this week:

Array

Guest

Jared Serigné, a volunteer with the “Cajun Navy” from St. Bernard Parish.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

A man walks to his house through a flooded neighborhood on Tuesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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A man walks to his house through a flooded neighborhood on Tuesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)