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Indigenous families of Isle de Jean Charles face significant challenges in Hurricane Ida’s wake

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 9:13 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 9:14 PM CDT
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ISLE DE JEAN CHARLES, La. (WVUE) - For generations, Isle de Jean Charles was home for some of Louisiana’s indigenous people. For many, coming back, this devastation is heartbreaking.

It’s almost unrecognizable there on island road in Isle de Jean Charles. Homes there sustained significant damage if not destroyed.

Many of the residents are native Choctaw Indians. There are family homes there that have remained for generations.

For Terri Autin, this is her husband’s childhood home and it’s the first time they’re seeing it since Hurricane Ida made landfall.

“It’s kind of upsetting,” Autin said. “I think it’s gonna have to be torn down. It’s just beyond belief I mean I’ve never seen it through all storms since Katrina have I ever seen it look this devastated.”

It was their family getaway home, a place to be together, go fishing, and relax. Now, like many of the homes on Island Road in Isle de Jean Charles, it’s unsalvageable.

“It’s between him and his siblings,” she said. “There are 10 of them. So they will have to decide how to move forward. It’s very sad To see how much people have lost. This was a very strong storm and I stayed. I won’t do that again.”

Watching the land change and disappear with every storm, and year after year, making the decision to stay or go.

Looking around, the devastation is significant and the rain from tropical storm Nicholas isn’t helping.

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