[Soon after the passage of Hurricane Ike, SMHA Executive Director Lorna Bourg shared this personal reflection]
It's Sunday night and I'm driving back from the all day assessment of Hurricane Ike's impact on rural communities: Delcambre, Erath, Pecan Island (where we cant yet go without boats), Cow Island and the Henry hub area roads blocked by water - accessible to noisy air boats - just a fraction of so much destroyed by Hurricane Ike.
It's dark now and my car lights reflect off tree limbs and trunks and large root balls stacked either side of the road and protruding into the road. All day we saw corridors of the brown decaying former lushness of Louisiana. The aftermath of Hurricane Gustav was met with families on higher ground moving remnants of downed trees to roadsides to be picked up by parish utility trucks and burned or landfilled later. The newer looking green on top is the result of today's industrious response to Hurricane Ike.
Once again dark green army trucks and young soldiers with rifles and camouflage, escort and block and point and haul to and from.
Coastal Louisiana's rural communities are under siege again. The coast comes closer to us every year, every storm. Only houses we and others built on stilts will survive. They must share their ground with occasional watery intrusions.
My beloved Louisiana is washing away.