COCODRIE, La. — The further you drive down Highway 56 in Terrebonne Parish the worse it seems to get.
This is the area Hurricane Ida’s eyewall violently straddled for hours as it made landfall.
Trucks and boats were tossed around like a child’s toys.
One fishing camp that was on 13-foot pilings now rests in a bayou after those supports snapped like twigs
“Housing is horrible. I guarantee you can’t go 50 feet without seeing a camp completely destroyed,” said Joseph Bourg. “You’ll probably see a pile of trash every 15 feet.”
Bourg was left virtually homeless after his apartment in Thibodaux was damaged by the driving rain.
“We’ve been evicted. Everybody. All – there’s nine buildings there. All nine buildings, everybody had to leave,” he said.
Yet he feels he’s one of the lucky ones.
Bourg will eventually live in a camper in front of his boss’s gutted camp in Cocodrie.
“If I didn’t have him or my friends or my girlfriend’s family or all the other people I’d be living out of my truck every night,” he said. “A lot of people, all they’ve got is a tarp on top of what’s left of their roof.”
Bourg wants people to remember that while other parts of the state have moved on from Ida, the bayou and river parishes are still hurting – and will be for a while.
“I’d hate to say it in that way, but Terrebonne and Lafourche Parish isn’t as important as New Orleans is to some people. To us it’s extremely important because it’s our home, you know? This is where I make my living. This is where I work. This is where I live now. But it’s not New Orleans, and only – people really only care about New Orleans to say the least. If it’s not New Orleans then it’s not an issue,” he said.
For those who work, live or play in the city, there’s a symbiotic relationship of sorts to keep in mind.
“The shrimp that it says ‘local Louisiana,’ I’d say 50 percent of it probably comes out of this canal or if not here off of Dularge or Fourchon or Leeville, Grand Isle. You know, the areas that were completely destroyed is where a lot of the food you’re going to eat is going to come from, Bourg said”
He said the coastal communities will rebuild, but they could use some help. “Grab the hammer and grab the drywall and come give us a hand.”
He says he has faith it’ll be OK.
“If I try and do things in the eyes of God, then God’s gonna help me out.”