The Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe is organizing recovery and relief efforts in the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Community. However, the news of Hurricane Ike may put a hold on the recovery efforts. Tribal Chairman Charles Verdin says that we will monitor Ike's course and depending on its projected path
and strength, clean up and recovery efforts may cease until after Hurricane Ike makes landfall in the United States.
As of September 8, water is intermittent, but even when water is working there is not enough pressure to do anything
productive. According to Chairman Verdin, everyone should have electricity restored
by October 1, but we are hoping that power is working before that time.
On September 6, 2008, Joel Waltzer and other attorneys from the law firm of Waltzer
& Associates went to Point-au-Chien to meet with Pointe-au-Chien and Isle a Jean Charles tribal leaders and community
members. He provides the following report from that trip:
My partner Robert, associate Matt and I went to Pointe-au-Chien (on a map, spelled incorrectly Pointe Aux Chenes, mailing
address Montegut) today to help assess and document damages and discuss needs. The best way to get there, given the
bridge problem, is highway 90, left on hwy 182 (first houma exit), left on highway 24 (24 crosses bayou at draw
bridge, pay attention), straight onto highway 56, left on 655 to the end.
The Community contains around one hundred homes. Neighboring Isle a Jean Charles may have half that amount.
Things were accurately described as a disaster, a complete mess. The roads were cleared and two-way traffic was possible.
There is no electricity, no running water, no sewerage and no land phone or cable lines. Cell phone signal was a little
intermittent, but mostly there. Text and data also worked. Lafourche Parish
reports natural gas working, and a sheriff told me some water pressure should be restored tomorrow.
Folks were just today returning to their homes. Most rode the storm nearby, predominantly in Bourg. They seemed to expect what met them and greeted this messed up situation relatively
well. A few though seemed outwardly despondent. Thirteen (13) family
representatives met us at 8:00 am. We visited more homes. All ages were represented. Folks seemed to know
where to get food, water and access medicine.
homes were untouched. All had some level of roof damage. About half are elevated. Maybe a shade more than
half are trailers, most of which are mounted and bolted or welded to structural supports. Evidence suggests the
strong possibility of tornadoes. Many roof were completely or partially torn off. With one or two exceptions,
all roofs are made of tin or some other corrugated sheet metal. Barely anyone had tarps. There were only a couple
of examples of fallen tree damage. A couple or few dozen? are probably irreparable. A few of the homes had possible
structural damage. I guesstimate about six feet of storm surge. What is not covered with now dried marsh grass
is covered with a thick layer of wet mud. None of the homes were gutted, although Gary
and Mandy Verdin had started. It was a miserable reminder of post-Katrina New Orleans, with more roof damage. Many freezers and refrigerators were emptied, but
some that were not are starting to turn.
brought and distributed about three thousand dollars of supplies at Price’s Shrimp factory on the LaFourche side of
Highway 665 (Oak Pt. Rd.). Included was a 5000
watt portable generator and appropriate extension cords, a chain saw, grill and large propane tank, about a dozen gloves,
about three gallons of bleach, five push brooms, some rakes, some flat shovels, water and gas.
had no insurance at all. Those that did carry relatively small limits (30K was about the largest). Most had no,
or just did, apply for FEMA assistance. We googled the number and gave it out. Some already knew. I saw
no parish officials, or state or FEMA or Corps officials.
Community is mostly inter-related and tend to share resources. That being said, needs identified and observed (in an
attempt at order of priority):
1) No rain (or more
2) Ice for food storage and a continued bottled water supply;
3) Tarps to
cover roofs while we wait for the Corps and its contractors to do bluroofs;
4) Lots of
gas cans, gas and oil for generators (quite a few had them);
supplies (lots of bleach, rags or towels, squeegies to push the wet mud out of homes and properties);
6) Three to
five pressure washers for Pointe-au-Chien and Isle a Jean Charles;
7) A big bunch
of young volunteers with strong backs equipped to assist with debris removal and separation;
8) A volunteer
with laptop and internet access (cell phone modem) to assist residents with FEMA registration and to collect and publish relief
and recovery information;
of box fans;
10) A truck to spray for mosquitos
(while the particular mosquito found was not a biter, called by the folks a “blind mosquito”, they were extremely
dense and covered many homes that flooded, creating a possible health risk?);
11) School supplies and child
12) Aerial volunteer to help
find cattle if still alive;
13) Some fire ant killer.
14) Crews of roofers for sheet metal installation;
15) Assess damage to fleet and to clear Bayou Pointe-au-Chien;
16) Elevation money;
17) Folks to think about, engineer and advice on storm hardening structures;
18) A campaign to get the oil companies to fill
in the canals and for their interests to be included in coastal restoration and flood protection.
seems that the government and other non-profits are already on the way to help with some of list. Either Chairman Verdin
or someone else should coordinate the relief off of a master list.
picked up on the web and news today:
points for commodities at the Galliano Walmart on Hwy 3235, 8 to 6
should call 888.766.3258 to sign up for blue roofs, which begins Monday: they will be directly to a sign up center,
must show photo ID or proof of residency and sign a right of entry form. The structure must have, according to the news
report, less then 50% structural damage to be eligible.
order in effect for water: drinking, showering, brushing teeth, etc.
works from cell phones only
civic center will house folks with uninhabitable homes (I suppose while they clean up)
disaster relief number: 800.621.3362
Gustav hotline: 866.288.2428
emergency.louisiana.gov has a lot of information
Emergency Operations Center:
Emer Ops Center: