Skip to content

In Louisiana, Native Americans Struggle to Recover From Ida

Louise Billiot, a member of the United Houma Nation Indian tribe, talks inside the home of her friend Irene Verdin, which was heavily damaged from Hurricane Ida nine months before, along Bayou Pointe-au-Chien, La., Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Louise Billiot, a member of the United Houma Nation Indian tribe, talks inside the home of her friend Irene Verdin, which was heavily damaged from Hurricane Ida nine months before, along Bayou Pointe-au-Chien, La., Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Along Bayou Pointe-Au-Chien, La. (AP) -- Driving through her village along a southeastern Louisiana bayou, tribal official Cherie Matherne points out the remnants of house after house — including her own — wrecked nine months ago when Hurricane Ida roared through the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe community.

Beige trailers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and travel campers sit next to pilings that elevated homes 14 feet (4.3 meters) off the ground to protect them from flooding. But it was the wind that got them this time. For hours, the Category 4 hurricane tore off roofs and siding, ripped out insulation and scattered treasured belongings. It destroyed shrimp boats and tossed crab traps.