Hurricane Harvey heroes America's Cajun Navy in need of donations to continue saving lives in future

DICKINSON, Texas (KTRK) -- A year after rescuing thousands, America's Cajun Navy is hoping Texans can return the favor.

After Harvey dumped flood water all over the Houston-area, a group of people showed up to help.

"Just a bunch of Cajuns, country boys," John Billiot, president of America's Cajun Navy, said.

America's Cajun Navy is based out of Louisiana, but that didn't stop the organization from coming to Texas.

"We had people down in Orange, in Port Arthur," Billiot said. "We had people in Katy. We had people down south in Dickinson."

The group formed after Hurricane Katrina. The Cajun Navy rescues people across the country after natural disasters.

But Harvey was unlike others.

"This was one of the top two hurricanes that I ever did," Billiot said.

Now, as the anniversary approaches, the group is hosting a family fun day at the Pasadena Rodeo Grounds on Sunday. From 8:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., the event will feature vendors, music and a Texas vs. Louisiana cook-off.

The event costs $5, which will be collected to save more people in the future by buying three high water rescue vehicles.

"By that, we can actually drive them all the way in and let the boats pull in the people, load them up on there, bring them all the way to the main road, and we're going to have buses waiting to transport them to shelters," said Billiot.

He estimates America's Cajun Navy rescued tens of thousands in southeast Texans, a group of people the Cajun boys have grown to love.

"I'd just like to say, thanks for supporting us," Billiot said. "We were glad that we could actually save lives. There could've been a lot more fatalities."

Thanks to their neighbors to the east, many Texans are safe a year later.
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