Message from Brenda Dardar Robichaux,
the Principal Chief of the United Houma Nation
(a State recognized Tribe with communities within Terreboone and Lafourche parish).
About 20 of my family and friends has chosen to ride out Hurricane Gustav with us at our home in Raceland. Our home is on a high ridge right across from Bayou Lafourche. Last night was a relatively calm night with little wind and rain. But that soon changed. We lost electricity at 6:05 AM and are using batteries and a generator to stay in touch with what is happening throughout our communities. The wind has picked up considerably here to about 85 MPH. Some of us are sitting on the back porch watching in amazement how huge oak trees can bend and not break while magnolia tree branches fall. Others are glued to the TV listening intently for word of where Gustav is headed and the impact he is having. The latest update is my worst fear for the Houma People as it is learned that he is approaching the bayous in Terrebonne and Lafourche parish. I feel we have done our best to make sure everyone has evacuated safely. The rest is out of our hands.
Hurricane Katrina and Rita left Plaquemine and St. Bernard Parishes with barely a home left standing or livable. It has been a challenge to assist our People in these communities when there is nothing left to start with. Some are still living in FEMA trailers, with family and friends and a few are finally returning to a home. Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes have been on the road to recovery for the past 3 years with lives just getting back to normal. My fear for the past three years has been "What if Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes suffered total devastation as Plaquemine and St. Bernard Parishes? These are the communities with the highest concentration of Houma People. How would we recover knowing the challenges we still face in Plaquemine and St. Bernard?" I am paralyzed in fear that this is what is happening. The great people of the Houma Nation that I am so honored to represent, who have faced many challenges over the years are about to face one of our greatest challenges.
As I sit and write the winds are blowing and Gustav is approaching. I pray for protection, strength and courage to face what lies ahead.
United Houma Nation20986 Highway 1Golden Meadow, LA 70357Office: (985) 537-8867Fax: (985) 537-8812 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org