January 3, 2022

In the Eye of the Hurricane

Growing up in South Louisiana, we become accustomed to the intoxicating culture of New Orleans jazz, seafood boils and southern hospitality; however, with the good comes the inevitable – hurricane season. Dare I say we’ve been quite lucky the last decade when it comes to mother nature’s might; a few small storms occasionally, but nothing too serious since Gustav. So when Hurricane Ida reared her ugly head in the Gulf of Mexico, we all had a gut wrenching feeling that our luck had finally run out.

The days leading up to landfall, residents of Terrebonne Parish geared up for what appeared to be a dangerous storm heading straight in their direction. Roads had bumper-to-bumper traffic, grocery stores were packed and gas station lines were a mile long as people grabbed necessities in preparation. Neighbors helped neighbors board up windows, businesses closed early to allow employees to prepare and others evacuated to safer ground.

By Sunday morning, the roads were empty and businesses were closed as a mandatory stay-at-home order was issued for all of Terrebonne Parish. We all watched the news in disbelief as Hurricane Ida made landfall as a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane. It didn’t take long for electricity to go out as wind speeds rapidly increased the closer she got. And then she was here.

“In the eye of the hurricane there is silence, for just a moment.” -Hamilton

Hurricane Ida ripped and ravaged through our parish with a wrath unlike which this generation has ever seen. She moved slowly, wreaking havoc and leaving a path of destruction in her wake. After what felt like an eternity, she finally moved on, and silence fell throughout the night. The next morning, the sun was shining and not a cloud could be seen in the sky. Looking up, you’d never know that a hurricane had just torn through the town, until you brought your gaze down. Total devastation. Roofs completely blown off of homes, business windows blown out, downed power lines and trees, trees in homes, impassable roads, no electricity, no running water and so. many. shingles.

It was a nightmare. Gas stations and grocery stores were the first to open, with lines hours long and limited supplies. Generators were flying off the shelves as most power lines were damaged, and Louisiana heat was at an all-time high. Businesses not yet open had to worry about looting and water damage. And it seemed only New Orleans was getting attention and help. When would this nightmare end?

But, the people of Terrebonne Parish did what they do best; they came together. This resilient community filled with hard-working people went to work to build back their communities bigger and better than ever. Meals were cooked and served to those in need, supplies were delivered, neighbors helped neighbors clean up yards and businesses slowly began to open.

Hurricane Ida tried to break us, but instead brought our communities together in this trying time. Today, Terrebonne Parish is proud to announce that we are completely open for business. So come on down, ‘sha, and experience this southern hospitality that we worked so hard to build back.