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Hurricane Ida is still wreaking havoc in a Louisiana bayou city

Hurricane Ida is still wreaking havoc in a Louisiana bayou city

  • The hard-hit city of Houma is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Ida.
  • Residents say rebuilding efforts have been hampered by supply chain woes, inflation and other issues.
  • Some are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, a nonprofit says.

The hard-hit city of Houma is still battling to rebuild nearly a year after Hurricane Ida smashed into the U.S. Gulf Coast and decimated bayou towns on the southern end of Louisiana.

Jonathan Foret, 45, the executive director of the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center in Houma, said, “Unfortunately, everything looks catastrophic out there.” “You have the impression that you are on a movie set when the zombies emerge. It is very discouraging.

A dismal picture greets residents of this community of about 30,000 people southwest of New Orleans: boarded-up businesses, partially collapsed office buildings, roofless homes covered in sun-baked tarps, and Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers parked outside of town.

Since Ida struck Louisiana on August 29, 2017, as a Category 4 hurricane, becoming the most damaging hurricane to strike the state since Katrina in 2005, Houma and other storm-devastated regions in Terrebonne Parish have made some progress. According to a National Hurricane Center study, Ida caused the deaths of 87 individuals in the United States, including 30 in Louisiana.

Locals, however, claim that problems with the supply chain, inflation, a lack of experienced building contractors, disputes with insurance companies, and other aggravating difficulties have slowed down the process of rebuilding.

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People in low-lying Houma and other parts of Terrebonne were displaced by the storm, and others were forced to relocate with family, seek shelter in FEMA trailers, or leave the area completely.

Amee Autin, who was kicked out of her public housing apartment and spent many months homeless, said of Houma, “It’s like a ghost town.”

Ida left psychological scars as well, intensifying symptoms of worry and sadness that had already started in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Start Corp., a local charity group, some people are displaying post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in the wake of the hurricane.

The difficulties in Houma serve as an example of how strong hurricanes, made worse by climate change, damage small towns in a lasting way. As the U.S. nears the height of the Atlantic hurricane season, residents of Houma are preparing for the next potential natural calamity.

Farren Clark, 42, a native of Houma and instructor at Nicholls State University in the nearby town of Thibodaux, declared, “It’s about to start all over again.” It’s like, “Inhale, exhale, let me concentrate, but let me get ready.”

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