St. John the Baptist residents remember Isaac - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

St. John the Baptist residents remember Isaac

LaPlace, La. - The people of St. John the Baptist Parish gathered Thursday to reflect on a day that changed them forever.

"We have been permanently scarred," says Sheriff Mike Tregre.

Parish President Natalie Robottom says Isaac, a weak but slow-moving hurricane, didn't seem to be a serious threat at first.

"When we woke up on the morning of the 29th, our only concern was that our water system to LaPlace has been compromised," says Robottom.

By 9:00 that morning, Robottom says, the water began to rise in the streets. Before long, residents became trapped in their homes.

"We had water everywhere and it had never happened here before. An immediate rescue started, not just with our firefighters and police officers but the National Guard and Coast Guard with their boats," says Robottom.

7,000 homes were flooded, 95 percent of the parish was without power and to make matters worse, the interstate was underwater.

As the people of St. John recalled those horrible times, they also spent the anniversary looking at the parish's recovery.

"We think we're about 90 percent back. There are some people who are in their homes but may need work here or there, but we're working with our long-term recovery group. They have some funding," says Robottom.

There are no federal levees in St. John, but just last week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took the first step in a very long process to fund 100-year storm protection for the parish.

"Of course, we could step back and say well, it will take years before they get built - but we are not going to stop there," says Robottom.

Even with progress, they are vowing to continue fighting for a full recovery.

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