Jeff Masters Weather Blog

A tribal community’s struggle against erosion, rising tides, and a devastating storm » Yale Climate Connections

In 2021, Hurricane Ida destroyed nearly all the homes in the Pointe-au-Chien Tribal community in coastal Louisiana.

Dardar: “It was like a war zone because there were no more leaves on the trees … and everything was torn up, houses all torn up.”

That’s resident Theresa Dardar. Her community is surrounded by wetlands that are eroding and sinking — partly because of levee construction, canal dredging, and sea-level rise.

This makes the homes there highly vulnerable to increasingly intense storms.

But residents are determined to remain on their ancestral land.

Dardar: “You pull out a tree and you let the roots dry up, and it dies. We feel that that’s what would happen to us. Our spirit would die if we were to be removed from our land.”

So they plan to rebuild and make their homes more resilient to extreme weather — for example, by more strongly attaching roofs to walls.

But residents have struggled to access disaster aid. So far, only two homes have been rebuilt, and many people are still living in FEMA trailers.

So Dardar says the Pointe-au-Chien community desperately needs funding and volunteers to support its recovery.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media

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