Pointe-Aux-Chenes Post-Ida

I’ve done posts about the Hurricane Ida as well as After Ida experience in New Orleans, but I also had a cache of photos on my phone from a supply-drop/clean-up trip to the town of Pointe-Aux-Chenes I figured I should share.

13 days after the storm (3 days after my own return to New Orleans) I tagged along with some friends to the tiny town along the bayou as part of a relief effort on the part of Glass Half Full NOLA. I knew it had been absolutely ravaged by the storm, but I was still a little unprepared for the level of devastation. Roofs and exterior walls were torn clean off, revealing the contents of raised homes from the street. Power lines and trees were down in every direction. Debris was everywhere.

I wound up in a group that helped clear the yard of a man named Alton Billiot, who was in his 60s and had lived on the little strip of land his whole life. He said Katrina hadn’t compared; they’d flooded then, which had happened before, and decided to raise the house up. But he’d never experienced winds like Ida brought. His brother Roland lived next door, at a considerably worse-damaged house. Roland was sitting up in an armchair in what had been the living room, before losing all its walls, when we arrived. An American flag with a Native American superimposed over it was flying over the building– the Billiots identified as members of the local Pointe Au Chien Indian tribe, and a daughter-in-law was from the Houma tribe. (Yes, the Indian tribe does seem to spell their name differently than the town.)

Most of the family had evacuated to Houma, which didn’t fare too great either, but Roland’s son, daughter-in-law, and grandson told us they had only gone as far as Cut Off. They’d booked a hotel but had their reservation canceled, as all hotel staff had evacuated. They had friends in Cut Off who’d evacuated and said they could use their house. They said they had to run from room to room during the storm as different parts of the roof blew away.

Two weeks later, tears came to my eyes when I saw this post from Cajun Navy saying they’d secured an RV for Alton. I can’t say what happened with Roland and his family.

Anyway, here’s the cache of photos. Worth mentioning my friends Josh and Alexander Airdropped me their photos from the day and iPhone doesn’t differentiate so it’s possible one of them took some of these pics!

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