East Texas rescue group in Louisiana to help during ‘Barry’

East Texans on way to help Louisiana

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - East Texas volunteers have made their way to Louisiana in an effort to be able to help get people and pets out if it becomes necessary.

Members of a non-profit group called 'Rescue the Universe' from Longview, are standing by to help if the situation becomes life-threatening for some as 'Barry' comes ashore.

In Iberia Parish, team members cleaning up debris from strong winds earlier in the morning, but standing by knowing worse is on the way.

“Storm is starting to pick up a little bit, winds are starting to pick up back here, rains coming pretty good, and we’re expected to get around 15-to-20 inches of rain here,” said team leader Ryan Nichols.

As the storm stalls and gains intensity, priority for the team is to be in the right position to help.

“We’re kind of getting the calm before the storm right now. We’re getting sustained winds of 20-to-25 miles per hour,” Nichols says.

Longview hotels have seen little or no visitors from Louisiana, and that may be from a prevailing attitude Nichols has seen.

“Because it was a slow moving storm and a Category 1 when it made landfall, there were a lot of people that decided they were just going to ride it out. A lot of flooding around here already and people are saying well when should we leave? We told them the time to leave was yesterday,” he says.

Now the tense hours of waiting.

"We went to the store down the street that was still open to get some gas, and there were people there starting to get worried. A lot of people stayed behind not knowing the magnitude of this storm," Ryan says.

Nichols and his team are working with the ‘Cajun Navy’ to help rescue and evacuate any residents caught in the floodwaters.

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