Longview volunteers head to New Orleans to help during flooding from TS Barry

WEBXTRA: Longview volunteers off to New Orleans to help during flooding from TS Barry

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The Rescue the Universe volunteer rescue group will leave Longview on Friday to meet up with the Cajun Navy in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The two groups will then head south to New Orleans where they’ll work to help people affected by flooding from Tropical Storm Barry.

Rescue the Universe is no stranger to helping during natural disasters. Member Ryan Nichols said they’ve worked hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, Florence and Michael, as well as four typhoons overseas.

“Now we’re going to work Barry, and when the next one comes we’ll be there as well,” Nichols said. “If nobody else will do it, we’ll go out there and do it and we’ll make sure that good things get done, and the reward that we get is that when we put somebody in this boat right here, when we put an animal in this boat, and we do something that they can never repay us back for, that’s what feels good to us.”

The Cajun Navy is made up of volunteer groups with private boats. The often assist in search and rescue efforts in Louisiana and surrounding areas.

One of the Cajun navy’s most recent volunteer efforts was mobilizing in Houston to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. this morning to join the Cajun navy in rescue operations for flooded areas of Louisiana.

Nichols said they’ll be in New Orleans until they are no longer needed.

“Typically we go out there until the government completely takes it over and that typically happens after around 48 to 72 hours,” he said.

Nichols is a former Marine who was honored on Ellen Degeneres’ talk show after drove 18 hours to rescue people and animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

Ryan Nichols chats with Ellen Degeneres. (Source: Warner Bros.)
Ryan Nichols chats with Ellen Degeneres. (Source: Warner Bros.)
Ryan Nichols holds a $25,000 check for the Humane Society to be donated in his name. (Source: Warner Bros.)
Ryan Nichols holds a $25,000 check for the Humane Society to be donated in his name. (Source: Warner Bros.)

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