Cajun Navy in Alabama helping with tornado search and rescue

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OPELIKA, Ala. (WAFB) - Around a dozen 2016 Cajun Navy members traveled to Alabama before dawn on Monday, Mar. 4 to help with recovery efforts after devastating tornadoes tore through east Alabama over the weekend.

Tornado damage at the Northside Fire Station located next to the Municipal Airport in Eufaula, AL | Photo: Amanda Curran / Twitter / MGN

“We’re seeing some pretty bad destruction,” 2016 Cajun Navy head, Jon Bridgers, said Monday in a FaceTime interview with WAFB. “These homes didn’t stand a chance.”

Bridgers said his group is working with local law enforcement to find a handful of people who have been reported missing. He said as many as 26 people had not been found when he and his group were briefed early Monday morning.

At the time of the interview, 23 had been confirmed dead.

Bridgers said on Monday afternoon, he was assigned to find a missing man whose daughter had died during the storm.

“He’s here somewhere,” he said. “We’re just trying to find him and bring some closure to his family.”

Bridgers added he’s trying to share as many photographs and videos on social media as possible, hoping to inspire people to donate after seeing the devastation left in the tornadoes’ wake.

Members of other factions of Louisiana’s Good Samaritans, including the United Cajun Navy, are also stationed in Alabama.

“We’re playing a small part and trying to make a difference,” Bridgers said. “It’s kind of heartbreaking to walk through this area and everybody’s possessions are on the ground. There are pictures everywhere.”

The Red Cross of East Alabama is accepting monetary donations online and Bridgers says he will post more detailed donation information on the 2016 Cajun Navy Facebook page.

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