‘Unacceptable:’ 90 days since Ida, hundreds await housing in Terrebonne Parish

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 5:28 PM CST
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TERREBONNE PARISH, La. (WVUE) - People are breathing a sigh of relief in Terrebonne Parish on the last of one of the worst hurricane seasons they’ve experienced.

Hundreds of people await temporary housing, which is slowly starting to trickle in. A temporary housing camp near downtown Houma has been set up by FEMA.

“What we’re doing is providing shelter and their meals, we do housekeeping for them,” said Tarik Masri, who heads up the temporary housing program under Taylors-International.

His Scott Street housing camp is home to 160 Hurricane Ida victims with more on the way.

“We are still adding, we’re hoping to have it filled to 200 in the next couple days,” said Masri.

The need is great after one of the worst hurricane seasons Parish President Gordon Dove remembers.

“We are 90 days [since landfall] now and people don’t have homes. That’s unacceptable,” said Dove.

Dove says nearly half of the homes in Terrebonne Parish received roof damage. The state has delivered 625 trailers and FEMA is sending in another 15. But the need is great.

“We believe we will need 2,600 when it’s all said and done,” said Dove.

CONTINUING COVERAGE

Terrebonne Parish currently has two post-Ida temporary housing facilities built and the numbers continue to grow.

“We believe there is an opportunity for additional facilities,” said Masri.

As the parish addresses housing needs, levee officials are working to repair about $5 million worth of damage to floodgates. Officials say the gates were pummeled by a 185 mph “reverse headwind,” producing storm surge inside of Terrebonne’s 90-mile long levee system, which held up well in large part due to Ida’s track.

“Had Ida made landfall farther west we would’ve had major overtopping,” said Terrebonne Parish Levee District executive director Reggie Dupre.

Terrebonne Parish has built its levee system mostly out of its own pockets but now federal help is coming in. Most of the damage to the Terrebonne floodgates was insured.

“It looks like we’re going to get substantial dollars. They’ve really been involved lately,” said Tony Alford, with the levee district.

With very little federal help, the parish and the state spent close to $500 billion on the Terrebonne flood protection system.

Wrapping up the 2021 Hurricane Season, Terrebonne officials say they’re already preparing for the next.

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