Cajun Navy still in Texas helping coordinate relief work two weeks after Harvey

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, volunteer rescue boats with the Cajun Navy came to help people trapped in floodwaters, but many don't realize the group is still in the area taking on a new task to help the city.

Sarah Ortego with Cajun Navy Relief said they saw a need to pick up where the boat rescues leave off, so they got to work in their own way.

"I had to do something, seeing all of these people hurting," she said. "We're trying to get supplies to people who need them."

Ortego is helping coordinate a warehouse full of donated supplies and its distribution to the shelters and places in need across the region.

Organizing donations after a disaster is a huge undertaking.

"An example, we have a big pallet of pancake mix. We're not going to send a pallet of pancake mix to a firehouse," Ortego said.

The rescuing side of the Cajun Navy dates back to Hurricane Katrina, but the Cajun Navy Relief and recovery effort started when flooding hit Louisiana last year. Volunteers saw new needs and new ways to help.

"I didn't have a boat and I had to do something. It was killing me. I couldn't sit there and not do anything," Ortego said.

She's a stay-at-home mother of three who decided to use her social media and organizational skills to pick up where the boat rescuers leave off.

"It's heartbreaking when you drive down the road and you see the streets lined with all their stuff," she said. "They lost everything."

Getting Houston back on its feet with a little help from our Cajun neighbors who hope we'll return the favor if and when it's needed.

"I was just moved to tears every day. Everybody helping coming together," Ortego said.

Their biggest needs right now include warehouse volunteers, volunteer truck drivers and donated cleaning supplies. Find more information on how to help at

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