HOUSTON, TX (WAFB) - With more than 100 boats in one flotilla, coordinating the Cajun Navy can be a big undertaking, especially in unfamiliar territory. To do so, the group relies on a smartphone app that acts as a sort of two-way radio system.
Listening in, the dispatches from Texas reveal the immense power of Hurricane Harvey and the devastation it has caused. "It's two elderly and one child. They've been stuck in a house for two days, and the water is rising up," said one dispatch.
"One person is reported dead. It is a child. It was reported via social media," went another call for help.
After their extensive efforts in the historic August 2016 flood in Louisiana, members of the Cajun Navy made a name for themselves. In Texas, they have continued that work, rescuing hundreds from the rising water.
The dispatch system allows the Cajun Navy to coordinate their efforts, helping individual captains navigate the murky waters and troubleshooting things when they go wrong. "We're going to need y'all to go meet up with group eight. They have a bunch of children and a bunch of people in an apartment complex that need help getting out," went one dispatch.
The two-way radio app also allows those in need to talk to the fleet of captains directly. "My cousin is ten minutes away from the San Jacinto River Bridge that broke. Is there anybody that can get to them," asked one woman, desperate for help.
While the calls can sometimes be painful to hear, with every outreached hand and every rescued homeowner, the Cajun Navy's work in Texas has allowed them a chance to offer a little love to Louisiana's Gulf Coast neighbors.
"It just shows how great Houston is and how great everybody around us is," said one woman, calling in on the dispatch line.