Gulf of Mexico
Donald Dardar cleans off debris from Hurricane Ida off the streets of Pointe-Aux-Chenes, LA. Weeks after the storm, in September 2021, the community was still without electricity and water. Duy Linh Tu SPECIAL TO SUN HERALD

LA - This Louisiana tribe lost most of its homes to Hurricane Ida. ‘This was the big one.’

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When Theresa and Donald Dardar returned to their home in Pointe-Aux-Chenes, Louisiana, to survey the damage from Hurricane Ida, the couple saw what looked like a war zone.

Roads were littered with fallen trees and debris from buildings. Most of the streets were still flooded and impassable.

The Dardars are members of the Pointe-Au-Chien indigenous tribe, and 68 out of their community’s 80 homes were destroyed.

“This was the big one,” said Theresa, 67, who has lived for nearly 50 years in this coastal village about 90 minutes southwest of New Orleans. “It broke my heart to see our homes like this.”

Hurricane Ida left over a million residents of Louisiana without power and caused over $95 billion in damages, according to AccuWeather, a weather forecasting company. Early recovery efforts were focused on New Orleans and other cities, leaving smaller communities like Pointe-Aux-Chenes to wait for help and to fend for themselves.

The Biloxi-Chitamacha-Choctaw tribe, neighbors of the Point-au-Chien and relatives of the Mississippi bands of Biloxi, Chitmacha and Choctaw, lost all their homes on Isle de Jean Charles.

Weeks after the storm, they are still without electricity or water, and most of the tribe has left the coast.

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