Hurricane Ike: The flooding of Bayou Dularge, LA

Hurricane Ike.  Day Two. Sunday, September 14.  The water in these photos is actually DOWN one foot from the day before, when the storm made landfall over Galveston Island, TX–some 200 miles west.

We went down by boat and then jumped into Mechanic’s truck.  He was making his first “road trip” down the bayou.  Here is some of what we saw.

Next door neighbors to the Cypress Cottage/Camp Dularge.  Notice the water line.

Heading “down the bayou”, another house recently repaired from Rita’s damage.

The home of my DS son’s favorite middle school teacher.  They were just about to get their home elevated to the 11-foot above sea level requirement.

This house is not on a slab, but on blocks.

Notice several things about this photo.  First, their gas cans are stored on the roof.  Second, see a taller white roof in the background?  That is the roof of their new house, eleven feet off the ground, which is under construction and being built by volunteer labor.

This old house belongs to an elderly shrimper and his wife.  I have a feeling they won’t be going through  this again.

No words.

Bayou Fabio’s sleeping quarters sank during Hurricane Gustav, and then the water rose higher during Ike causing him to flee into someone else’s home to take refuge.

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  1. I just showed these to my husband – these are incredibly moving photos. Thank you so much for sharing them. I can feel your heartache through them.

  2. Hi Jen,
    Well, there’s plenty more like these–just chose a few. And this is only a four mile stretch of our bayou, which stretches about 20 miles all told. I will be posting some very heart breaking photos in days to come. Looks like a third world country where huge debris bombs exploded, and America has no idea. Please share the link to these photos to your readers, if you will, and ask them to do the same. I want this blog to be educational and increase awareness as to the forgotten Americans—the Bayou People.

  3. My heart sank as I saw these photos come up on my computer. I agree – these are incredibly moving photos. I hope you’re hanging in there. Thinking about you lots!!!

  4. I had a customer come in yesterday and say “What the hell are those people living there for? They’re just costing everyone billions of dollars every time a hurricane hits.”

    After a brief explanation, he left with his tail between his legs and a better understanding of why.

  5. I wish I could come down and help out – Its SO hard to have a thing like this happen…. my heart breaks for you my dear friend and all of those who live there.

  6. My heart breaks everytime I see photos or read stories … if there is anything I can do to help, you know the door is always open. i will be passing the link to your blog along so that others can see what is happening here.

  7. I know so well your feelings just now after all this loss and I’m so sorry for you and the other people there!

    I was living for more than 7 years in Key West and we had also many Hurricane experiences. The worst one was “Wilma” in 2005, we lost everything we had and we were up to the hips in the water and all the furniture were swimming in the streets. We had to restart our life from scratch – I know what you went trough!

  8. Have no idea what Choupiquer may have said to his customer, but I’m going to say how I feel.
    Bayou people stay on the bayou because they love it, it’s a part of their culture and for many it’s also their place of employment. The same question could also be asked of people who live in an area that has earthquakes, forest fires, blizzards, ice storms or tornadoes. Oh yeah,I almost forgot, flooding occurs in places other than S.La. The mid west has its annual floods too and they are above sea level. In fact, UMCOR depleted its supply of “flood buckets” this yr. helping the mid west flood victims. I do believe that covers ALL of the U,S.
    Of course. in my opinion, one of the best reasons to stay in S. La. is the food!

  9. Stephanie has it right! And thanks, Choup, for setting him straight. One of my goals here is to introduce the bayou people and our way of life to the world, and it looks like we are getting a pretty good start. Please, share these links with EVERYONE so the bayou people will be recognized. Someone told me that our governor asked the Fed. Govt. for everything Texas is getting in the form of aid, and I wonder why we even have to ask.

    Everyone, thanks again for the hugs and warm sentiments. You are keeping me going. Might not get my post done tonight. We had a very long day today and another one ahead of us tomorrow.

    LilSis, BigSis, my extended family and I are hanging in there!

  10. Well they figured what plug to pull to drain the lake of Ike water down the street after what a week? The stink coming off the spot makes me homesick for Louisiana. Got my crawl drying out with a squirrel cage fan. I am ready for
    a trip thru the looking glass anytime.

    I take it Choup’s guy wasn’t wearing a LSU tee shirt? Should of called 911 and reported him drunk… Billions? I figure we just supporting those its illegal to let die same as before.

    Well, take care.

  11. Choupiquer…………thank you for setting that person on the right road of caring & thinking. I don’ t know where you live but most of the country doesn’t care about the barrier islands nor the wetlands. They have no idea of the impact our area has on their daily lives.

  12. Wow, just surfed in and am amazed. Lot of work to be done, but the bayou people are resilient and I have faith. I shall pray for you all.

  13. Wow……….w..o……w. Im speechless….heartbroken…..and dumbstruck. Sending you strength, courage and energy. post when you can. God love the bayou people!!!

  14. I lived next door the the teal house that is flooded most of my life. Thanks for posting the picture so that I can see what is going on with my friends and family. And to all of you that are heart broken. This is certainly not the first or last. Actually its the 5th time in 25 years. There is no other place my parents or the other people would ever want to live. Its all part of the risk, and every resident knows it before jumping in.

  15. KatNYC: Thanks for the comment! What you doing way up there in NYC girl!!!

    It is not the fifth time in 25 years for all the homes on Bayou Dularge. Many homes which had NEVER flooded, took on water the first time after Hurricane Rita–mine included.

    I’m sad to agree with you when you say it won’t be the last, but you are correct considering the current rate of wetland loss and the lack of completed barrier island and marsh restoration. And oh how I wish that were not true.


  16. I am in NY designing clothing for the GAP … after leaving Dularge for LSU, I left Louisiana for NYC. Its great, but I really miss home too.
    I do know that some homes never took on water until Rita, but pictures 5,6,and 7 are identical to ones I have from ’85 and ’92. That is when we moved a mile up, to get away from the flooding. Slowly the barrier islands have erroded, and a mile up was just not enough either. 🙁
    I hope your families are doing a little better this week.

  17. Thoughts are with you, Bayou Woman.
    I know what it’s like to muck out after the river gets you.
    Life on the water, as a friend once said to me, “has it’s good advantages and it’s bad advantages”.
    Let us know if you need anything.


  18. Kat – it’s good to hear you’re doing so well! I passed your house today and I don’t care how many times I see it, it still so sad to see people’s belongings in a pile outside the house.

    Lynn- I could use some of your good cooking tomorrow night!!!