Recovery in South Plaquemines Parish ‘hindered’ after Nicholas rains down on community

Hurricane Ida
Amanda Shaw Hurricane Ida Benefit Concert

IRONTON, La. (WGNO) — Now that the power is back on in most of the metro area, it feels like we’re well on our way to recovering from Hurricane Ida. But, many people south of the city haven’t even had a chance to get started.

“God has never forsaken us,” Rev. Haywood Johnson, Jr. with St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church explained. “Even in the midst of difficulties, he is always there with us.

The faith of the people of Ironton is one of the only assets that remain in the wake of Hurricane Ida. It’s been over 2 weeks since the storm ravaged this small community, but the damage mirrors that of other areas in South Plaquemines Parish.

“That corridor from Alliance to West Pointe à la Hache has been devastated,” parish president Kirk Lepine said.

Nicholas’ impact in the city was negligible… but that wasn’t the case here.

“We have logistical challenges where Myrtle Grove is because of the tide moving in and dumped 5 1/2 inches of rain yesterday,” Lepine added. “We were making progress with our pumping station, but it has kind of hindered us now.”

Charlotte St. Cyr has lived in Ironton for over 40 years. She was here to meet with her flood insurance adjuster. And while the community has many needs, she cites protection as their biggest need.

“We need those levees fixed back there so this won’t happen anymore,” St. Cyr explained.

In addition to the work of rebuilding, another layer of anguish exists for many here.

“On top of the water, we’re trying to find our loved ones who we laid to rest,” said Johnson.

The work in South Plaquemines continues from resurrecting Citrus Groves to moving cattle to higher ground, but the spirit of the people is not broken

“I want to rebuild and come back,” St. Cyr added. “It’s a nice community. I just want to be home.

Parish president Lepine says the power is coming back online for many, but some challenges exist like the ability for people to get mail. Some have no mailboxes and if you’re waiting on medicine or a FEMA check, that’s a problem. They’re working with the post office to develop a centralized place for mail pick-up in those areas.

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