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Louisiana task force work to return displaced caskets a month after Ida

Their tombs and caskets lie far from their resting place, swept away in Ida's storm surge.

PLAQUEMINES PARISH, La. — Tombs with human remains continue to sit in yards in Ironton.

The Louisiana Cemetery ResponseTask Force is just beginning to clean up the mess Hurricane Ida left behind.

But community members said they feel disrespected by how little progress has been made.

It has been more than a month after Hurricane Ida and Ironton is still in shambles. Not only destroyed homes here but caskets with loved ones inside remain scattered throughout the community.

Their tombs and caskets lie far from their resting place, swept away in Ida's storm surge.

"They were like all around the community in everybody's yards," said Cassandra Wilson.

Ironton, a historically black community, continues to feel left behind in recovery efforts, as homes remain condemned and tombs displaced.

"Please step up. Treat us like you treat the people in Belle Chasse," said Cassandra Wilson, Ironton.

The Louisiana Cemetery ResponseTask Force recently began the process of returning displaced caskets to the community cemetery.

"We want to get that taken care of respectfully get these remains back into the cemeteries as quickly as possible," Dr.Ryan Seidemann, Louisiana Cemetery Response Task Force.

They were in Ironton for about a week and a half.

"They bought a few back here and that's all they did, bought them here. They haven't done anything else," said Cassandra Wilson.

29 caskets and vaults with some exposed and now sit in the community cemetery.

Tombs remain in yards, some sit in the cemetery lying on their sides, never moved.

"The real goal is to get them back to the cemetery and so those are, admittedly and absolutely displaced within the cemetery, they are still within the cemetery," said Dr.Ryan Seidemann, Louisiana Cemetery Response Task Force.

The task force needs a large crane to return several displaced tombs and even then restoration of the Ironton Cemetery is just beginning.