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Ida recovery continues in Lafitte

Published: May. 6, 2022 at 8:07 PM CDT
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A sign with a message of resilience in Lafitte nine months after Hurricane Ida caused...
A sign with a message of resilience in Lafitte nine months after Hurricane Ida caused significant damage to the community.(Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -Hurricane Ida had a significant impact on the Town of Jean Lafitte, a community by the bayou in low-lying Jefferson Parish and residents are still trying to recover.

JoAnn Guidry kept her eye on a ditch near her trailer home after spotting an alligator. Nine months after the powerful hurricane she says her flood-damaged mobile home still has damage.

“I’m 9 feet high and I had a foot of water inside which made 10 feet of water here. Some places had more because they’re lower. I contacted FEMA, FEMA won’t help me, I didn’t have insurance. My Social Security is not much,” said Guidry.

She said it was her third time flooding.

“It was horrible, I was here, I was sitting on my couch with that door open watching the water come, and did I saw it come up from the bottom. It’s like, okay, now what am I going to do, I don’t know how to swim,” said Guidry.

Many yards in Lafitte have temporary trailers in them.

Joe Valiente is director of Jefferson Parish’s Department of Emergency Management and was in Lafitte on Friday.

“I’d say we have about 200 temporary trailers from the state that are back here, so this allows the residents to be on their property and they can keep an eye on their property, so we’re making progress, we’re not there yet but definitely making progress,” he said.

Ida meted out significant damage to some properties but was kinder to others.

Curt Barousse said of his family’s damage, “It wasn’t as bad as some people like we didn’t lose everything, it was just the downstairs area of our house.”

Valiente says there has been progress, in the months since the storm.

“We have all the roadways open, the electricity’s been restored. I know from a gas standpoint of view over 500 gas lines had been restored here and another 80 that are waiting for the residents to repair their homes or properties. So, there’s gas service here, their drainage has been improved, we have pumping capacity back here and the electrical grid,” he said.

People there are quick to say they are resilient.

“We’re strong people down here, we’re going to come together and do for each other as much as we can until it’s right,” said Barousse.

Still, if Guidry had her way she would relocate.

“I would love to move, this is enough for me, you know, but I can’t afford to move,” she said.

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