“Grand Isle Miracle”: House from 1940s stands tall after decades of hurricanes

Hurricane Ida

GRAND ISLE, La. (WGNO) —Senator Bill Cassidy was been in Grand Isle Friday, where Hurricane Ida left most of the homes uninhabitable — most, but not all.

The folks in Grand Isle are no strangers to storm damage and the senator assured them that help was on the way, but we also ran across what we’re calling a bit of a Grand Isle miracle.

Several inches of rain fell on the recovery effort in Grand Isle, but that didn’t stop the effort or the visit from senator Bill Cassidy who told us how he plans to pitch the aid needed here to his colleagues in Washington.

“You’ve got to stress the importance of Louisana’s wetlands and barrier islands, then there’s also a human dimension,” Cassidy explained. “Then you see all these energy assets on this island and offshore, and it’s not just about protecting the mainland, the culture — it’s about protecting Louisiana’s and the nation’s energy assets.”

Mayor David Carmadelle admits getting power to the island will take time, but there is a more pressing need.

“If we could bring running water. You can live with a candle — you can cook, you’ve got light, but you can’t live without water.”

Longtime Grand Isle resident Leoda Bladsacker came home to what she considers a miracle. A fully-intact home amongst all of the catastrophic damage

“I walked through the whole house and I saw not one window had been busted,” Bladsacker said. “I was so excited, I checked for leaks, I had no leaks. I was so excited.”

Bladsacker calls her home ‘Perserverance’ and it had minimal damage. Only a few screens and shingles out on a structure that was built in the 1940’s and had withstood several big storms.

“It persevered through Hurricane Flossy (1956), which was a bad storm here.” Bladsacker added. “Many others, but the top 3 were Flossy, Betsy, and now Ida.”

In spite of the work that lies ahead, she laid out the invitation for her neighbors to rejoin her at this little paradise on our state’s southern coast.

“We’ve always come back,” Bladsacker explained. “Don’t give up yet. We’re alive — that’s what counts and I’m going to miss it for a little while, but I hope everybody comes back eventually.

Another challenge that both the mayor and senator Kennedy spoke of was the urgent need for housing. FEMA doesn’t put their trailers in a flood plain, so that will be a bit of a problem here. Finally, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser is delivering portable showers so people here can bathe.

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