LAPLACE, La. — In areas hit hard from Hurricane Ida, campers, even tents, are still sitting outside of homes and roofs are still covered with tarps. Recovery is making it tough for families to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
On Wednesday while most families were prepping for a Thanksgiving feast, Nicole and Malcolm Lago were checking on their LaPlace home.
"We would be set up there," Nicole Lago pointed to their dining room, which needs completely redone since Ida. "We have a lot to do."
Their ceiling caved in during the hurricane and three months later, they see slight progress, but it's slow.
"We were initially just shocked," Lago said.
Their neighbors can say the same.
"It still looks like almost destruction. There is more movement now, but it just doesn’t have life anymore," she said.
With so much work to do, planning an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner is not a priority this year.
"Being displaced from our home, we're readjusting our plans and making the best of it," Lago said.
The rough few months have given the family of four new perspective on what matters this holiday.
"It's the smaller things now, the more intimate things, less materialistic things," she said.
This year, they will have a small celebration in their temporary home in Gonzales.
"We're really living with the bare minimum right now and it's still okay," Lago said.
Even after losing so much, they are finding so much more to be thankful for.
"My family, our safety, we still have each other and we hear it over and over but everything... everything is just material," Lago said through tears. "We're thankful that we're still here to celebrate life and be together. We know at the end of the day, everything will be repaired, replaced, we’ll be fine."
For residents in St. John the Baptist who need a Thanksgiving meal, relief groups are hosting a drive through meal giveaway at 9 am on Thanksgiving Day at East St. John Preparatory Academy. It's first come first serve.