Louisiana's Cajun Bayou Remembers Hurricane Ida - One Year Later
Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou has seen its fair share of challenges over the past two years. As all of our hotels, restaurants, attractions and events grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-changing path forward, Lafourche Parish was dealt a devastating Category 4 blow on August 29, 2021.
Hurricane Ida, the second-most damaging and intense hurricane to ever hit the state of Louisiana, made landfall near Port Fourchon on the 29th and quickly made its way up Bayou Lafourche. The destruction left in its wake was nothing short of catastrophic. The aftermath has been felt by every single resident of our beloved parish, with towns down the bayou being some of the hardest hit.
However, the story does not end there. You see, Cajuns are no strangers to adversity. Some of the first settlers along the bayou, the Acadians, faced severe uncertainty and challenging times. That same strength, grit, and determination has been passed down for generations. It shined brightly the morning of August 30th, the day after landfall, as neighbors helped neighbors, communities helped communities, and friends from around the country rushed to our aid.
As our residents emerged to begin picking up the pieces of their lives, what we saw was not shattered windows, splintered trees and destroyed homes. It was people opening their homes to those without one, community organizations distributing critical aid to families that didn’t know what tomorrow would bring, and business owners giving away whatever they could to aid the cause. In the hot, humid days that followed, the words “how can I help” echoed off the banks of the bayou.
As the weeks grew into months, things began to get better. Debris was cleaned up, supplies distributed, roofs tarped and lights turned back on. Hotels – even though many were running on generators with damage of their own – manned their front desks and housed linemen, work crews and those in need of shelter. Our restaurants continued to serve hot meals to workers and first responders… day in and day out. Our own tourism team did not stop working one day, even though Ida destroyed our visitor center and offices. Everyone selflessly did their part to begin putting our destination back together. Along the way, we collectively showed the world what it truly means to be Cajun.
One year later, here we are. Our doors are back open, the tables are set, the beds are made and our lively festivals have returned. We are welcoming visitors back to experience our unapologetically Cajun culture once again. Even though there is a still a long way to go, we have come so very far over the course of one year. We would not be where we are today if it were not for our residents, government officials, community organizations, volunteers, linemen and those who came from far and wide to help us put the pieces back together.
We invite you to come be part of our continued recovery. Come stay awhile at one of our local hotels or B&B’s, taste authentic Cajun cooking at our family-owned restaurants, take a ride into our unspoiled swamps, or party like a local at one of our many festivals and events. We often say that the Bayou Life isn’t for anyone … it’s for everyone. And we mean it. There is truly no other place like Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou in Lafourche Parish. We can’t wait to welcome you to our incredibly resilient family.