Plaquemines Parish resident reflects on life since Isaac

Photo provided by staff.
Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 10:00pm

On August 29, 2012 the Eastbank of Plaquemines Parish went under water. Floodwater from Hurricane Isaac over topped the levees from Braithwaite to White Ditch. Now a year later residents like Roy Lally, III are still trying to pick up the pieces.

“That's been slow slow slow,” Lally said. “Between insurances you think you're going to get a total loss and then the insurance companies don't want to pay you the max of what you had.”

Lally, a Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy, worked the day of the storm. He went to tell his neighbors about the parish’s mandatory evacuation order when a wall of water rushed toward his squad car. He had enough time to pick up a neighbor and get to the old Woodlawn school on Highway 39. Then the water arrived.

“By the time I got to the road the water is about waist deep,” Lally said. “By the time I got from the road to about maybe 100 feet 150 feet to the building where the stairs were to go in it [water] was up to my neck.”

Once inside the building Lally began to realize his community was changed forever.

“The stress didn't kick in until after everybody was in the building and it was like this is really happening it's over it's done.”

Soon after Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Lonnie Greco learned water flooded his Woodlawn substation.
“When that water came up over there it was almost twelve foot of water. I lost cars, but most importantly I almost lost my men and that was unacceptable,” Greco said. “Equipment can be replaced those dedicated men and women I can't replace them, but I'm just glad to know that they are ok.”

Once the water began to recede Lally began the process of trying to fix his home.

“It's just sad that I had damage here for Katrina wind damage and other stuff, and I had more help with less damage on my house for Katrina. This storm, I had a total loss and had less help,” Lally described.

His home sits just a few miles away from where the water came over the levee in White Ditch. Now it’s hard for him to trust something like what happened during Hurricane Isaac won’t happen again.

“It makes your life thinking about not having the protection you sort of have to change the way of life as far as what you're going to keep in your house.”

He wants the federal government to help out and include the levee near his home in the federal levee protection system.

“If you look at the big picture money wise you don't have the multimillion dollar homes and businesses here but it's still American citizens. It's still our people,” Lally said.

Since the storm, Parish officials say very few people have returned to the Braithwaite community. Sheriff Greco says he has added extra patrols to the area to continue to protect homes and prevent looting.


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