The Huffington Post Ryan Grenoble First Posted: 08/30/12 01:20 PM ET Updated: 08/31/12 11:34 AM ET
Jesse Shaffer III lost his home in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, when heavy rains from Hurricane Isaac surged through the levee that protected their town and left thousands of residents stranded.
Determined not to helplessly sit back, reports ABC, Shaffer and his son, James Shaffer IV, each grabbed boats and set out to rescue their friends.
For the next 12 hours, while 80-mph winds, heavy rain, and rising floodwater conspired to make their lives difficult, the 53-year-old and his 25-year-old son rescued 120 people.
The father told ABC his most memorable rescue was plucking a family of five off their trailer's roof minutes before it was completely submerged. At the height of it all, he said the water rose at a rate of 1.5 inches per minute.
The Daily Mail adds that residents of the Plaquemines Parish have a reputation for staying put during severe storms, where even the sick and elderly are "hardened storm veterans."
Reached for comment Wednesday by the Times Picayune, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser described the damage caused by Hurricane Issac there as "worse than Katrina."