Volunteers comb Baton Rouge neighborhoods to provide water rescues

Volunteers comb Baton Rouge neighborhoods to provide water rescues

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Much of Jones Creek Road near Coursey Boulevard in Baton Rouge is underwater which prompted hundreds of volunteers to hit the water on boats looking for anyone who needed assistance.

"Normally this is all dry land and businesses," said April Doyle. "You just have no idea."

Going from home to home along Jones Creek Road, people could not help but stare at the unbelievable sights. Roads are now rivers and homes are abandoned as whole neighborhoods have been swallowed up by the rising waters and many residents seek higher ground.

The volunteers say there is not much time to dwell on the shock of it all because they were on a mission to find those who still needed help. Doyle said she felt it was her duty to help.

"Luckily we were not impacted but everyone around us is so we just felt like since we weren't and we were blessed not to be affected we should be out here helping," she added.

From neighborhood to neighborhood, the goal was to check for any movement or anyone still at home who needed to brought to safety. Some of the volunteers left the boat several times knocking on doors, desperate not to leave anyone behind. The group made several rescues in Greenwell Springs. Doyle said the worst part of it all is the dangerous waters.

"The current is so strong. You don't think so and you think 'oh I'm shallow enough that even if I have a little current it's not going to sweep me under' It will," she added. "The current is insane and I've never seen anything like it."

There were too many boaters to count Sunday, risking their lives to help others. It is something Doyle said is refreshing but not uncommon in South Louisiana, even after what has been such a difficult summer.

"Especially after what happened last month. Everybody just still is unbroken and stays strong and comes together whenever there's a time of need no matter what the color or race, it doesn't matter. A rescue is a rescue," Doyle said.

While many homes were abandoned, some residents deep in subdivision near Jones Creek and O'Neal said they would stay put and ride out the flooding. Doyle said she only had one message for those who chose to stay behind.

"Just be careful because it is no joke," she added.

Some of the residents still riding out the storm say they lost power late Sunday afternoon but they have generators and are willing to guard their home, doing everything they can to keep the flood waters out.

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