'Waco Navy' lends helping hand to folks in South Texas - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

'Waco Navy' lends helping hand to folks in South Texas

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
WACO, TX (KXXV) -

Hurricane Harvey has reminded us that Mother Nature can be a powerful force, but it's also shown us the strength in people.

Folks from across the nation are coming together to help victims of the storm, including a Central Texas group called the Waco Navy.

Austin Shirley, Reast Weir and two other men formed the group with the goal of assisting those affected by the storm.

"We knew we had the equipment to go out there and help out," said Shirley. "We loaded up our two boats, hit the road, got there Sunday night and got in the water Monday morning."

"There wasn't really a reason why it was just 'why not,'" said Weir. "I think any other red-blooded Texan would do that as well as anybody else who's an American."

The Waco Navy has been pushing through the rubble down south since last Monday. Shirley said they've rescued more than 200 people and have delivered hundreds of pounds of food and water.

"A lot of cities didn't have supplies and there weren't enough supplies coming into locals," said Shirley. "So we started doing supply runs as of last night to replenish the citizens of all surrounding cities of Houston."

At the moment, the Waco Navy is back home, but they don't plan on camping out for long. 

"As soon as we get the call that a city is in need, that's when we're going to hit the road again," said Shirley. "We have another trailer, loaded fully up, and we're just on standby to get that call and we're going to head back down.         

The Waco Navy also has every intention of staying 'Texas Strong' long after relief efforts end.

"We're going to keep going and push on," said Weir. "What that looks like down the road, we don't know yet but, in time, we'll see."

"It's been an honor for us to be there for our fellow Texans," said Shirley.

Shirley said the name 'Waco Navy' came to be when the local search and rescue frequency required them to have an identifier so people knew who was responding to each rescue. Shirley is also a Navy veteran.

If you know someone who needs help in South Texas or if you would like to donate supplies to the Waco Navy, click here.

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