Town and people of Ironton rebounding after IsaacAug 26th, 2013 | By Terri Sercovich | Category: top story
This week marks the anniversary of Hurricane Isaac, which hit the Eastbank and central Westbank of the Plaquemines in 2012, devastating many areas with as much as 15 feet of water.
The historic town of Ironton was one of the areas that accrued a significant amount of damage. The entire town suffered from wind damage, as well as water damage from the surge of water that over-topped the Mississippi River levee. However, residents of this area, which is believed to be more than 150 years old, have come back stronger than ever and say that the town has almost fully recovered.
“There are around 160 people and 48 families in Ironton,” said resident, Wilkie Declouet. “And almost all of them came back.”
“We even have new people that have moved in!” said Gloria Green, 79, a lifelong resident of Ironton. For the past year this small community has been working feverishly to come back from the devastation they experienced from Isaac and things are certainly looking up. Ironton sits about three feet above sea level, but still received at least four feet of water in most areas.
“It has been a struggle, but we had to come back,” said Declouet. “I’ve been living here my whole life, so I have a lot of memories here. My roots and my family history are here in Ironton.”
Declouet, whose house is raised several feet off the ground, recieved just enough water to buckle the floors of the house. He and his family also experienced major damage to the top floor of their home when a section of their roof caved in, exposing the interior of the house to rain and debris.
He, along with his wife Andrea and the rest of the residents of Ironton as well as a few volunteers from an Amish/ Mennonite work group banded together post-Isaac to do most of the clean-up work due to what the they described as
a slow recovery response from the Parish.
“If we had to depend on the Parish to clean up this community,” said Declouet. “we’d still be cleaning up today.”
“The people around here are very resilient,” said Andrea. “As soon as people were able to get back in here, we started cleaning up.”
It is evident that the people of Ironton care deeply about their community and are prepared to do whatever it takes to keep the neighborhood going strong in any way that they can—part of this strength comes from the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church situated in the center of town.
This church is more than 130 years old and serves as the central hub of the community where every Sunday, the congregation and choir meet up to praise the strength they’ve found within themselves to continue fighting for the survival of this historic place.
The renovation process was slow, but through church member donations and plenty of hard work, the congregation was able to restore the church back to its former glory.
Residents are happy to be in their newly renovated homes, and hope that the community will continue to persevere.