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Volunteers head to Lafitte to help hard hit residents, and fishermen

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Efforts to help Lafitte residents and fishermen are moving forward in a number of different directions.

Dozens of boats have been damaged or destroyed, and many wonder if the help will arrive before it’s too late. Volunteers from several agencies gather in Lafitte today to feed hurricane Ida victims in one of Louisiana’s hardest hit places.

While the food should help fuel recovery workers, homeowners, and shrimpers still have big needs

“I lost my house, my boat, crab traps, I lost everything,” said crabber Nathan Fabre of Lafitte.

Ida blew dozens of shrimp boats onto land, and others can’t be seen.

“I don’t know how we are going to get some of these boats that sunk, or on pilings or on land but the lieutenant governor said he would work on a solution and I’m going to talk to the governor as well,” said Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner, Jr.

There are a number of efforts to identify the scope of the damage and try and get help.

“Getting help with cranes and a barge to lift those that sunk, or the ones that need repairs anything we can do to help them to get back and make a living is crucial right now,” said Lt. Gov Bill Nungesser.

“We are giving out gift cards and giving them legal leg counseling because a lot of people are confused,” said Charmaine Caccioppi, with United Way.

Many of these shrimpers and fishermen say they received promises of federal assistance two years ago after frequent spillway opening messed up their fishing grounds with most saying they haven’t seen a dime.

“I’m hoping they can help right now we’re on our own,” said Fabre.

Fishermen are an independent lot and many will try and do it themselves.

“My daddy was a shrimper and he said after the storm the shrimp were plentiful, the problem is getting the boat back out there,” said Nungesser.

We asked Fabre, “How do you make it in the meantime?” He said, " Ha ha hopes and dreams, that’s all you can do hopes and dreams.”

There is good news in Lafitte, one of three fishing docks that were knocked down by Ida are now back up in operation. A number of agencies are trying to help those impacted in the fishing community. They include the Louisiana Department of economic development, Wildlife And Fisheries, and members of the state’s congressional delegation.

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