Rural Louisiana is still Ida . reeling from
Christine Verdin received several photos from friends and family of the destruction Hurricane Ida brought to the rural community of Pointe-aux-Chennes, which runs along a bayou southwest of New Orleans.
But the images could not prepare Ms Verdin, who serves on the council of the Pointe-au-Chien tribe, for the extent of the damage she suffered there this week.
“There are no homes,” said Ms. Verdin, who grew up in Pointe-aux-Chennes and lives nearby. Dozens of homes in the rural community were destroyed beyond living space, walls were razed and roofs were cleared from above.
Seventy miles away in New Orleans, evacuations continued to return this week as power was largely restored. Businesses are reopening, and families prepare to send children to school next week.
But in rural areas to the south of the city, which were hit hardest by the storm, the recovery phase has barely begun.
In Terrebon Parish, where Ms. Verdin lives, 100 percent of customers live without electricity, according to Entergy, the area’s main utility. In other nearby parganas, 5 per cent of customers have restored electricity. It is likely to take a few weeks before power is restored to residents; In some areas, according to Entergy, the electrical network will have to be completely rebuilt.
Governor John Bel Edwards will travel to Terrebon Parish on Friday to assess the damage. Some areas remain subject to the boil water advisory. Debris, trees and downed power lines clog the roads. Achieving basic necessities such as food, ice and gasoline remains an ongoing challenge.
In coastal parishes, most residents can break through a long list of storms they have survived. But Ms Verdin says it feels different.
“I’ve never seen people get so emotional,” said Ms. Wordin, adding that rebuilding is a difficult prospect for many people who lack homeowners’ insurance because of high premiums. One of her family members whose house was destroyed, an uncle who is 78 years old, told her that she did not have the energy or resources to rebuild.
“Usually he has a solution for everything,” Ms. Wordin said. “And this time he doesn’t.”
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