GRAND ISLE, La. (WGNO) — Nearly two years after Hurricane Ida, the town of Grand Isle continues its recovery efforts.
Jefferson Parish officials gave WGNO a tour of the progress made in the past 20 months. The wrath of Hurricane Ida left the town critically damaged but once the winds died down and the water receded, the restoration process began.
“If you have had the visual of looking at what this island looked like right after the storm, the only way I would describe it is like a bomb went off. That’s the way it looked,” said Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng.
The Army Corps of Engineers has temporarily repaired the 12 levee breaches with major repairs still to come n the summer.
“We had roughly about 122 million dollars according to the corps of our burrito levees and beaches. We had about 12 breaches of that levee,” said Rickey Templett, Council-at-Large.
In a meeting Wednesday (April 19), officials shed light on the effects of the insurance crisis on long-time residents of Grand Isle.
“The thought of coming back and taking on a mortgage and the mortgage requires you to have insurance and the insurance premiums are $20,000, $25,000. That is what the fear always ways,” said Sheng.
Although millions have been spent securing the island’s infrastructure from both the federal and state government, the message to visitors from Mayor David Carmadelle is clear: Grand Isle is open for business.
“A family with a check for $400 dollars, you got 3 kids, you can’t go to Destin. You want to go to the nearest beach, so we are making sure it’s open now and it’s gonna get better every day and we want to make sure that family comes,” said David Carmadelle, Grand Isle Mayor.
Councilman at large Ricky Template says the bounce back in these last 20 months has been incredible and he thinks when people tour it post-Ida, they will really see how much has been done.