Like a lot of people in his community, Taylor Moore, a surgical ICU nurse, has a boat. When he heard that the Cajun Navy, a group of boat owners who came together after Hurricane Katrina to help save stranded residents, was headed to Texas to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, he volunteered right away. He eventually made three back-and-forth trips to the Houston area to help rescue those stranded in their homes.
Once in the Houston area, Moore motored out again and again, picking up people trapped by the rising water and depositing them on dry land. How many? Hundreds.
Moore’s first rescue trip included a four-hour trek to Pasadena, Texas, just outside of Houston. He and other Cajun Navy rescuers used the Zello app on their cellphones to locate people who needed help. “People who needed rescue would call in and give their addresses, saying things like: ‘I have my dad here who’s on dialysis. He hasn’t had dialysis in a week.’ Or, ‘We have kids who are ill,’” Moore recalled. “We even received a message through Zello from a man whose motor broke down on the Beltway 8 that runs around Houston. He gave an address and said: ‘If you can get to this location, you’ll never run out of people to rescue.’”
And when they reached the flooded subdivision, there were “people everywhere,” says Moore. He and fellow good Samaritans worked their way from house to house through the night, loading up as many people (and pets) as they could.
Moore would eventually travel back to Louisiana the next morning, where he continued listening to Zello. Almost immediately, he was ready to travel back to Houston. “I just started texting and texting and texting people,” he said. “I finally got hold of one of my friends and said, ‘Let’s go back.’”
The second and third trips to the Houston area were focused around Conroe, Orange and Vidor, Texas. Moore estimates that they rescued around 600 people during the ordeal.
“It was neat to be a part of something so big and to be able to impact individual lives. I can still see a lot of their faces whenever I think about it,” Moore says.
“This hit very close to home in that our state (Louisiana) had experienced something similar,” he added. “If it were to happen again here, I would hope that the people of Texas — or any place nearby — would come to help us. So, that’s the mindset that I had going over there – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Meet Moore and hear his story here.