BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Hurricane Ian ripped through Florida Wednesday, dropping more than a foot of rain in some areas and bringing with it a life-threatening storm surge that destroyed roads and homes.
The United Cajun Navy has divided its efforts both on the ground in hard-hit areas and in Baton Rouge to gather and ship supplies including pallets of MREs, snacks, medical supplies, and fuel.
“This reminds me of like a kind of a Harvey Katrina situation going on,” said the President of the United Cajun Navy Todd Terrell.
Devastating winds and fierce rain lashed the Sunshine State as Ian whipped through Florida causing unknown damage and leaving the community in need of extra support.
“There were a couple of bridges that collapsed, they’ve got some buildings that have collapsed, a lot of elderly, a lot of medical needs right now,” he said.
Terrell has what he called his main team of 37 people deployed to rescue those who are trapped in their homes. As of writing this article, Terrell estimated that team has rescued over 250 people.
“Our guys have actually been out there since yesterday,” Terrell said. “We have a ticketing system that we use that we actually get a call in and they go help that person.”
He said many people who are in need of saving had pets and would not evacuate without their animals.
“We’ve had a couple of incidences where an elderly lady had cats, another one where an elderly gentleman had a dog and they did not want to leave their house,” Terrell explained. “They’ve got three feet of water in the house but they don’t want to leave so we have a team that actually takes care of the animals to make sure that the animals are not leaving.”
It is unclear at this time how many people may have died in the storm, but Florida officials speculate it could be in the hundreds
“We have heard that there have been some deaths, I can’t confirm or deny any of the numbers but we can confirm that there have been casualties,” Terrell said.
Here in Louisiana, The United Cajun Navy is sending much-needed supplies to the neighboring state.
“Florida has been very very supportive of Louisiana during the last few years,” Terrell said. “I always tell everybody, sometimes this is gods way of getting everybody to work together because in a disaster it seems like everybody wants to help.”
Terrell said they are welcoming donations with an emphasis on food, water, and other essentials. If you would like to donate they have a portal on their website.