PORT SULPHUR, La. -- Many residents of south Plaquemines Parish returned home Monday to survey the damage from Hurricane Isaac -- for the first time.
Officials coordinated a controlled re-entry allowing residents and business owners on the west bank side to check their properties.
"Not knowing is what the worst part was," said Mike Ford, a Port Sulphur resident.
Ford heard the reports of heavy damage across south Plaquemines Parish, but he didn't know what happened to his camp near Port Sulphur until Monday.
"My problem upstairs is the caved in ceiling. Downstairs is all destroyed as you can see -- the boat sheds, the storage sheds, anything downstairs has been destroyed,” he said.
Ford was one of more than 1,000 residents to return to south Plaquemines Monday. Folks lined up for miles -- many of them before daylight -- waiting to get past a police checkpoint on Hwy 23.
"I'm trying to get down there to see how bad it is, what I can get fixed and what I can salvage,” said Buras resident Sam Dillard.
Those coming back into the parish have had to do so with a police escort because the water is still high in many places and there are still plenty of dangers here. The only way in and out was on top of the Mississippi River levee.
The many miles of damage and debris is a familiar sight for residents here, but folks like Bobbie Mine say it won't send them packing.
"Deja vu all over again,” Mine said. “We just love it down here, and we're gonna rebuild and stay."
Ford said, "We still have a lot of work to do, a lot of cleanup to do, but at least we're not as bad as Katrina, because we've done this already with Katrina and some other storms."