Grand Isle takes major hit along the beach from Cindy

Tropical Storm Cindy took large chunks out of the beaches in Grand Isle.

HOUMA -- Residents and business owners are still cleaning up after the storm on Grand Isle, but the attention is shifting to damage seen on the beaches. 

Mayor David Carmadelle estimates Tropical Storm Cindy has lopped off about 30 feet of shoreline in some stretches of the island.

"When we got here Sunday the pathway to the beach had a little bit of erosion, maybe 2 or 3 feet," Donna Carter said.

Carter, a long-time vacationer from Houma, says she was shocked to see the damage.

She showed Eyewitness News a part that used to be a part of the path that led to the beach.  This Thursday the path had nearly been washed away. 

"They won't have this too much longer if they don't do something better than this," Carter said.

There was a barrier constructed of dirt and tubing finished years ago, but due to erosion, the island needs more protection.  Mayor Carmadelle says he was able to get a grant from Jefferson Parish to buy large boulders he's planted along the beach, but he needs about $10-12 million more, $50 million total, to do it right.

"Going through the delay of getting money from the state and other agencies, the longer that you let it sit like that, the costlier it becomes," said Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts.

Councilman Roberts says there could be some money from the BP Settlement to help.

"And there's a lot of people who say 'well, okay, how much money is too much money to keep Grand Isle there?'  Well, Grand Isle is kind of the first speed bump for a storm," Roberts said.

Securing the money for improvements has been an uphill battle for decades. 

"I've been here since 89', I was here when we built this in 83," Carmadelle said.

And now the pressure is on to get the work done before another powerful storm takes another swipe. 

"When you look at it, it's saddening to know how many memories we had here as a family and to know that my grandchildren are probably not going to get to do that," Carter said.
 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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