How does the old adage go? Something like — If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?
Does the same apply for a hurricane?
If a Category 4 (and maybe someday upgraded to a 5) makes landfall in a small, rural community and the national (and some state) media almost completely abandons the most impacted area, then did those impacts actually happen?
Since Saturday, I have been in Winnie, Texas. I have been covering the storm remotely. I have been working 24/7 staying in contact with people in Lafourche, working almost around the clock. But I have also been watching coverage of the storm nationally and at a statewide level.
Let’s just say, they’ve not told the full story.
Look, Ida was a multi-parish, multi-state storm. To EVERYONE in her path, we offer our thoughts and prayers to those impacted by this demon.
But somewhere along the way, my colleagues on the beat lost track of the fact that when Ida made landfall, she did so in LAFOURCHE PARISH and THE BAYOU REGION — over Port Fourchon, to be exact.
Not New Orleans; not New York City, New York. Right here. She made landfall right here.
The upper right quadrant we’re so often told about? The part of the storm with the worst winds and surge? Yeah, that, too, made landfall over OUR AREA. Oh, and it sort of stalled over us, too, giving the parish a full day’s worth of the worst of Ida’s wrath.
The world doesn’t yet know that because they’re being shown more populated, well-known reaches of our state. I asked the reason. I was told by a reporter something about “market size” and “ratings” or some jargon that my little rural-living mind would likely not ever understand.
But those who lived it know the story. Those who were there and who have see the damages know that Ida was the bayou’s storm.
My first instinct in seeing how this storm was being covered was anger. Our people deserve better. Our people are underrepresented in all walks of life. But in this, we deserved more.
But after spewing, the anger faded to a different feeling — one of pride and perseverance.
To hell with them!
They don’t cover us, nor understand us when we’re on top. They don’t need to see us at the bottom.
And they damn sure don’t deserve to see the comeback story that is about to take place!
Lafourche Parish and the Bayou Region is going to rebuild — whether we have the eye and sympathy of the country or not.
And we will build back better.
We are not dependent on others for what we want. We just make it happen.
Look at out levees as an example. For years, our levees were denied adequate funding because they were not “to standard.” So we built them ourselves. We taxed ourselves. We shoveled the dirt ourselves and our little ole levee that’s not up to standard has still not ever been defeated by Mother Nature — including by Ida.
Our people are a united people. If someone has two of something and their neighbor needs one, we lend it — be it time, resources, assets or anything of the sort.
My timeline has been filled with stories of locals helping locals — to get supplies, to donate money, to tarp roofs, whatever we need.
It’s not on the news, but it’s happening.
And it will continue to happen until the work is done.
It will take months to get back a semblance of normal. It will take years to get it fully rebuilt.
But it will happen.
And we will do it together.
The attention would be nice. To hell with ‘em, it’s not the Lafourche way.
I am from here. I will cover this thing cover to cover without relent.
Lafourche tends to Lafourche. Lafourche helps Lafourche.
We wouldn’t want it any other way.