GRAND ISLE, La. (KLFY) — Starting today, authorities are allowing people in Grand Isle today to start the rebuilding process after Hurricane Ida.
Grand Isle’s police chief says the barrier island has faced 75% damage. It’s possibly going to be three months before everything is repowered, and it is going to be an even longer process for people who are now moving back in.
“It’s totally destroyed, the whole town,” said Carl Hodges, whose home was destroyed. “It’s going to be a long time before it’s back like it used to be.”
Carl Hodges Sr. and Carl Hodges III are among the first to clear debris from what’s left of their Grand Isle home.
“This was going to be our retirement home,” Hodges Sr. said.
Their home is one of the hundreds that will have to be torn down and rebuilt stronger. Many places, which have weathered decades of hurricanes, did not survive Ida.
Residents are only now returning to their homes because the roads are cleared.
Police say Grand Isle’s infrastructure was hit hardest, and it will likely be the last to be restored.
“The highway was covered with six to eight feet of sand from one end of the island to the other,” Police Chief Resweber said. “There’s so much damage above us: Golden Meadows, Cut-Off, Lockport, Matthews, Houma, and they are working their way down.”
Several weekend camp owners also worked their way down Friday like Leigh Scardina, who camps in Grand Isle.
“You look at a space, and you know you knew what was there, but you can’t picture it anymore because it’s totally gone and totally different,” said Scardina. “There’s a lot of people I wonder if I will ever see again.”
Whether it’s their only home or weekend home, people are determined to see it come back.
“It’s not just a commitment necessarily just coming down having a good time now,” Scardina said. “It’s a commitment to coming back and helping people rebuild.”
People say this beach really just came back a few years ago after Hurricane Katrina wiped it out, and they are hoping that it doesn’t take as long after Hurricane Ida.