(Written by Kevin Barnhart/Louisiana Radio Network)

The Cajun Navy is assisting in the response to Hurricane Sally, which made landfall Wednesday morning as a slow-moving Category 2 storm near the Florida-Alabama line. Baldwin County in Alabama is reporting major to catastrophic flooding. United Cajun Navy founder Todd Terrell says their focus is floodwater rescues.

“This is one of the worst ones we’ve seen as far as a lot of people stuck in an area with this much wind and surge coming up,” said Terrell.

The group of Louisiana-based volunteers often respond to natural disasters.  Terrell says it appears many of the residents were blindsided by the intensity of the storm and did not evacuate.

“It looks like a lot of them might have gotten lulled into sleep.  The forecasters were saying it was downgraded to 80 mph and 85 mph and a lot of the old-timers, I guess they figured they could survive it,” said Terrell.

Terrell estimates they’ve got about 25 to 30 boats ready to respond, but the closure of bridges in the area is complicating the entry process for others wanting to help.

“It’s hard to get boaters, it’s hard to get help into these areas right now so the guys that we’ve already had in there are pretty much all we are going to have, unfortunately,” said Terrell.