A ceremony this afternoon also marked the anniversary of Hurricane Isaac. WGNO anchor Vanessa Bolano reports that in Madisonville, it’s more of a celebration.
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Neighbors in St. John Parish are preparing for whatever the tropical system might bring.
WGNO’s Tyler Wing reports on what could be St. John’s first high water test, since Hurricane Isaac.
Would you let $15 million just melt away? Well, that’s what happened after Hurricane Isaac. Millions of dollars of ice the state bought for hurricane victims went to waste!
The Office of the Inspector General reports the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) bought 45 million pounds of ice during Isaac for $17 million.
The report shows only $2.5 million worth of ice was actually given to storm victims. The other $15 million in ice was either given away to private businesses or allowed to melt.
Click here to read the full report from GOHSEP: GOHSEP – Hurricane Isaac Final Report2
In a special 4th of July tribute, WGNO salutes New Orleans own Fort Pike, weathering history to keep American independence secure.
Fort Pike history guide Art Schick says after the war of 1812 the United States built coastal fortifications to stop the British should they attack again, “Not too many people know that this was the first one to be built in the whole system. Guns the whole way round to cover the whole water way out here.”
The dug out defense armament was called Fort Pike for American Brigadier General Zebulon Pike who Pikes Peak in Colorado is also named after, “The British fleet. If they would have went this way they would have took New Orleans. Cause this wasn’t here,” says Schick.
In the war of 1812 Pike served as deputy quartermaster in New Orleans but was later killed in battle attacking York in present day Toronto.
Schick says Fort Pike became the prototype for all other United States coastal fortifications, “Back then they had a draw bridge here. It was double moated. They had officers’ quarters up here on the top.”
In the 1830’s Fort Pike detained Seminole Indian prisoners before tribes were sent further west, “Just the Seminoles, “ says Schick. “ They had brought them in from Florida. They were incarcerated here and performed ceremonies because of their chief.”
Union forces took control during the civil war and trained artillery, including African American troops.
The fort was abandoned in 1890, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
In all the years Fort Pike stood guarding the city of New Orleans, never once did Americans need to fire upon an enemy.
“No action out here at all as far as battles or skirmishes,” says Schick who reminds visitor’s that Fort Pike’s biggest bombardments come from Mother Nature, “You had Katrina. You had Gustav. You had Tropical Storm Lee that closed it up for a while. And then we had Isaac last year. So we don’t know what this season is going to bring.”
For the first time since Isaac Fort Pike is re-open, re-born and re-addressing a pivotal era of New Orleans past, “At least they go home with a little bit more of history of the New Orleans area than they did when they got here.”
Fort Pike State Historic Site is open. Operating hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.
TO LEARN MORE VISIT:
Saturday, The Coast Guard and Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries released the final oiled brown pelican injured during Hurricane Isaac.
They say the pelican was coated in oil from an abandoned production facility during the storm. The bird was collected on September 3, 2012.
The pelican was the last of four to be rehabilitated and released after the storm.
“During any oil spill response, we work diligently with our federal and state wildlife partners to address oiled wildlife,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Screws. “We make every effort to clean and return those animals back to their environment in the condition they were in prior to being impacted by the spill.”