fbpx Skip to content
hurricane laura

Hurricane Laura

Hurricane Laura was a deadly and destructive Category 4 hurricane that slammed into Louisiana on August 27, 2020. It tied with two other hurricanes as the strongest
hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana. Laura caused more than $23.3 billion in damage and 81 deaths.

Two days before Laura struck, the Cajun Navy Ground Force began to prepare for its response. Our CEO & Founder, Rob Gaudet, and a small team of 5 initial volunteers
accepted an invitation by Grand Casino Coushatta and tribal chief David Sickey to use this location as an initial base. Once the winds died at 6 am, our team geared up and made the hazardous 30-minute trek into Lake Charles, the “City With No Light.”

Along the way, our team witnessed miles of roads blocked with downed trees, light poles, and debris. This prevented any first responders or assistance from reaching entire communities of citizens who had just experienced the worst night of their lives, some, their last. Our team immediately got to work clearing roads. This effort led them to one of the most underserved regions of Lake Charles, the northern community of Gosport. Over the next eight days, we based our operations in a Walmart parking lot. As word got out that the Cajun Navy Ground Force was in town, hundreds of volunteers showed up with chainsaws, water, food, and supplies, ready to help.

After clearing every road in Gosport, we moved our operations into the heart of the city in downtown Lake Charles. We then took on four simultaneous missions: 1) clear homes, 2) provide supplies, 3) feed people, and 4) tell stories. By telling the stories of the survivors and bringing awareness to the immense needs of the community, hundreds of volunteers poured in from around the country. Many gassed up their cars and drove in from as far away as Michigan and Arizona. Others bought plane tickets and flew into Houston or New Orleans.

Over the next 18 days, across a 5 parish region, our teams cleared debris from over 1,000 homes, fed over 50,000 people, and collected, delivered, and distributed supplies, gas, and food.

One of the most impactful supplies delivered was flashlights. Many of the survivors we encountered were the most vulnerable in the community, the elderly. Once the sun went down, darkness fell over the city like a cloak as it took weeks for power to be restored. Some senior citizens had a generator and gas but not the strength to fuel or crank the generator. This presented additional dangers as they tried to navigate damaged homes at night. Due to a plea on our extensive social media following, hundreds of flashlights and batteries flooded into our distribution center, and we were able to provide peace of mind to those who needed it the most.

Hurricane Laura wasn’t the last impact the city would have to endure. Six weeks later, Hurricane Delta ripped into Lake Charles, followed by a severe winter storm in February 2021 and heavy flooding three months later. Cajun Navy Ground Force remained in Lake Charles for 10 months after Hurricane Laura. It is our longest deployment to date.

Media Partners

Our media partners are crucial to telling our story and our mission to stabilize aging and other vulnerable citizens living in natural disaster impact zones.

Read the interviews here:


Gold Transparency 2023