Three to five major hurricanes have been predicted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters to occur between June to November.
Leaders of the First Baptist Church in Cameron have been trying to get a contractor to come out and give them a quote so they can apply for a building permit. Most of the church has been gutted to the studs, with pews currently stacked in the building's center. This is the fourth hurricane the small congregation has survived as well as one fire, said Cyndi Sellers, a longtime church member who was baptized and married there.
In the meantime, the small congregation holds services in the meeting room of the parish's governing body. They try to soften the space with plastic sunflowers and a blue cloth across the podium. A cross with a Bible verse attached to it stands on a table.
Sellers says rebuilding will help the congregation."They need to be able to worship together on Sunday, to be able to have that family and to have that support — emotional, spiritual support — to get through what they're going through," she said."And they're going through a lot." headtopics.com
Sellers has gone through quite a bit herself. As a young child, she took refuge in the Cameron Parish courthouse when Hurricane Audrey hit in 1957, and has seen many other storms in the more than 60 years since. Finally, after Laura, she and her husband had had enough and decided to move inland to a town about two hours away.
"The stress that you go through when there's a storm in the Gulf, if you don't live on the coast you can't really imagine what it's like," she said.Meanwhile, forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are predicting 13 to 20 named storms for this year's Atlantic season.
The stress of rebuilding and worry about future storms have prompted some to consider moving inland. But many who did just that after Hurricane Rita in 2005 were still unable to escape Laura's wrath. The 2020 storm was so powerful, it was still a hurricane when it hit Shreveport about 200 miles (322 kilometers) north of the coast.
Dyson and his wife considered leaving but decided to stay — he is working at an LNG plant being built in Cameron. He also used to catch shrimp, but his boat was destroyed by Laura.Federal officials just recently made it a little easier for residents to stay on their properties while they rebuild, by allowing the trailers it provides to be placed on lots that lie in the flood plain. headtopics.com
The movable living quarters can be seen everywhere, often parked near the cleared slabs and elevated mounds where houses used to be. Some residents intend to build something more permanent. But not 67-year-old Margaret Little. She plans to stay in a one-bedroom trailer that can be hooked to a truck and hauled away when the next hurricane comes.
Like Sellers, Little lived through Hurricane Audrey. She remembers holding on to a fence for dear life and how her dog had to fight off snakes when the family found refuge in a pump house.Hurricane Rita took her nice brick house in Grand Chenier. Then Laura wiped out the trailer she'd bought to replace it. By the time Delta came, there was nothing left to take.
Little's husband loves to crab and shrimp, and they have replanted the fruit trees they lost in Laura. But she draws the line at permanently rebuilding."I can't lose another house. I just can't," she said.On Saturday, May 22, 2021, Grand Chenier, La., resident Margaret Little looks at some decorations and objects that had been around her home and that she recovered after Hurricane Laura destroyed her home last year.