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Myrtle Grove residents still displaced one month after Hurricane Ida

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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PLAQUEMINES PARISH (WVUE) - Some residents in Plaquemines Parish feel forgotten about as their neighborhood continues to see little relief from the parish. Streets are still impassable and residents are still displaced from the Myrtle Grove community.

“It’s just starting to dry up, but again it’s just chipping at it a little bit every day you come down here,” said Kipp Nash who built his retirement home in Myrtle Grove. Now the only way he can get to it is by boat.

“I don’t know who developed it. I don’t know who said hey this is good. But since I’ve been here, it’s been, what-- three years? I’ve been displaced ten times. This is the worst of it,” said Nash. He said wet mud still cakes the streets in his neighborhood, making them impassable for residents to return. He believes his neighborhood is in trouble.

“There’s only one machine in this neighborhood that I can see that’s trying to help us do something,” he said. Like Nash, residents in Myrtle Grove feel forgotten and ignored. They would like to see Plaquemines Parish officials help by bringing in more equipment to move the mud and pump water out.

The problem, according to both Nash and Parish President Kirk Lepine, is as soon as the mud is pushed out, it slides right back in. Lepine said the cleanup process is taking longer than anticipated.

“The problem really was drying some of that wet mud and grass. That really had to dry [first],” said Lepine. “We attempted to push it or move it, and we were unsuccessful so I know that’s not a good answer for the residents to hear but we were attempting to and just couldn’t get it done.”

Lepine said the parish is still trying to pump water out of neighboring pastures, which he said will help with the water in Myrtle Grove to dry out the mud and allow for heavy equipment to move in and remove it.

“We want them to know that we haven’t abandoned them or neglected them. It’s just taking a longer process to get it cleaned up,” said Lepine.

He said they’ve taken a step forward and two steps back as rainfall following Hurricane Ida didn’t help with progress. Now he’s asking residents for patience.

“We would love to see everyone in within the next couple of months but we know that’s not going to happen. But we have a goal and we’re gonna push for that.”

For Nash, he understands that it’s hard work to clean his community. But when it comes to his home and property, he’s not waiting around.

“If we can get some type of assistance that would help us out,” said Nash.

Lepine said post-Ida recovery in Plaquemines Parish has been challenging. They have minimal resources available, the parish has moved departments around to help with the work load, plus day-to-day responsibilities have significantly diminished the workforce.

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