Hurricane Ida Damage Made Grand Isle “Uninhabitable”, Louisiana Parish Chief Says

The fury of Hurricane Ida made the barrier island community of Grand Isle “uninhabitable,” a Louisiana parish chief said Tuesday.

A search and rescue caravan to the parish community of Jefferson may have arrived by road, but 10 to 12 seawall ruptures on the Gulf of Mexico side of the island damaged 100% of homes and other structures, including almost 40%. completely destroyed or almost destroyed, parish president Cynthia Lee Sheng told reporters at a press conference.

Additionally, the island – located about 111 miles south of New Orleans – was covered with about three feet of sand, Sheng said.

Grand Isle Police Chief Scooter Resweber said he and other officers were waiting for the hurricane inside the town’s police station, according to the Associated Press.

“I had all the police moved into the building for security reasons – and then it all went wild,” Resweber told the AP.

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“The roofs started to crumble. We could see buildings shattering in front of us. It’s something you never want to see again.”

“The roofs started to crumble. We could see buildings shattering in front of us. It’s something you never want to see again.”

– Chief Scooter Resweber, Grand Isle, Louisiana, police

Even the police station was threatened, he said.

“When the roof started to collapse and the building shook, we all got scared,” he said. “We are grown men but you are afraid in yourself, whatever your job, and we have felt it.”

The chief called it the most severe hurricane he has ever seen.

“I’ve ridden other hurricanes – Hurricane Isaac, Katrina, Gustav, Ike – and it’s absolutely not comparable,” he said. “This is the worst.… It’s just unbelievable that no one (here) has been killed or even seriously injured.”

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Elsewhere in Jefferson Parish, located along the Gulf Coast in the New Orleans area, the town of Lafitte had many homes flooded with water, but crews were able to rescue 15 people, Sheng said, according to WWL-TV of New Orleans.

Sheng advised everyone who had left the area not to return yet, given the extensive damage.

“These are not living conditions,” Sheng said, according to WWL.

She said drinking water and ice distribution sites were being set up for residents who stayed at home.

Garbage collection would not resume until Monday, largely due to poor roads and traffic lights, she told reporters.

Widespread destruction

Also on Tuesday, Rob Krieger of FOX 8 New Orleans visited Grand Isle and posted a video on Facebook that shows the widespread destruction.

“There is no service on the island at the moment,” he wrote, “the electricity, water and cell service are down.”

Krieger also posted a video of Slidell, St. Tammany Parish, located on the northeast shore of Lake Pontchartrain, about 32 miles northeast of New Orleans.

The video showed a young man carrying neighbors with his boat.

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“A really awesome guy who does exactly what you expect from a real Louisiana,” Krieger wrote in his post.

Hurricane Ida hit land on Sunday, with winds reaching over 170 miles per hour, the AP reported. The total destruction of the affected areas was still being assessed on Tuesday.

Before the hurricane hit, Sheng had advised residents of Jefferson Parish to “leave immediately”, warning that the hurricane was “impossible to survive.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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