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Areas hardest hit by Hurricane Ida deal with housing issues

25% of houses in Lafourche Parish are destroyed or uninhabitable, parish president says
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 5:49 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - For thousands of families in the path of Hurricane Ida, step one to recovery is finding a place to live.

In Golden Meadow, Warren Michel and his family are living on his shrimp boat after riding out the story in the family home, which Ida destroyed.

“I would never, ever stay with my family (again),” Michel said. “Had to put life jackets on. We thought we were gonna die.”

Fortunately, he also works for a company that supplies generators, which provides a degree of comfort on the small boat with its cramped quarters.

“It’s a mess,” Michel said. “We’re not sure what we’re going to do... if we have enough insurance to rebuild.”

The small communities that dot Louisiana Hwy. 1, where rooftops are a sea of blue, experienced some of Ida’s strongest winds.

The storm plowed over or snapped miles and miles of power lines.

“By our estimates, about 25% of the houses in the parish that are completely gone or unlivable,” said Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson.

The parish is working with FEMA on some kind of long-term sheltering plan, Chaisson said, which could include trailers, modular homes or some kind of housing on barges.

Despite the issues, Chaisson sounds an optimistic note about rebuilding.

“It’s truly a message of hope that we’re going to be able to put this place back together,” Chaisson said. “It may take us some time, but we’re gonna get it done.”

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