PLAQUEMINES PARISH, La. (WGNO) —The coastal communities of Southeast Louisiana are by large, still without power. Plaquemines Parish residents are no strangers to storm destruction. In recent years, Hurricanes Katrina and Zeta wreaked havoc.
Hurricane Ida was not kind to Plaquemines Parish by any means. Ironton, Port Sulphur, Venice and every place south of the flood gate are still in mandatory evacuation, with no water or electricity and very little in terms of medical resources. When compared to the neighboring Parishes, just west, Plauqemines Parish had minimal damage.
Plaquemines Parish President, Kirk Lepine says “we’re pretty encouraged. There is not a lot of damage. Not total devastation like there was in Hurricane Katrina.”
Power is restored to more than 50 percent of the Parish and Gas is a lot easier to procure. Many businesses are open and food and supply distribution is regularly occurring. Government offices will reopen Tuesday along with storm debris removal.
To keep it’s resources within, there are National Guard checkpoints at the entrance of the parish.
Mike Calligan is a resident and knows that storms and the disruption they bring are a part of life saying, “It’s great to get back to normal living… if you want to call it that. I’m here getting gas and I’m happy to do so. I wasn’t able to do that last week.”
As life improves, the need is still great. Lines at the few gas stations along highway 23 have short lines but the lines are long at the YMCA, where people await boxes of supplies from the food bank. The next distribution will take place Wednesday at the Percy Griffin Community Center in Davant.
The further south people travel down towards Port Sulphur, the storm surge water is not that far removed. Pastures are flooded as cattle graze grass scattered with storm debris.
“We’ll be prepared for whatever comes our way but it’s always a challenge for us living in the south. The longest part of our Parish is inhabitable right now. It’s about an 18-mile stretch, where we are trying to get that water off the road and pump it out says Parish President, Kirk Lepine.
It’s a long recovery from Ida and there are many weeks left in the storm season. South Louisiana has endured much over the past 24 months. The state will have to continue to use its best defenses to get through… its fortitude, its heart and its know-how.